CAIRO: Egypt coach Hassan Shehata released contradictory statements on his future, in the wake of the Pharaohs’ embarrassing 1-0 away defeat to Niger on Sunday.
The seven-time African champions were out of sorts during the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, which fuelled speculation that Shehata will consider stepping down from his role.
When asked after the match whether he will stay on as Egypt coach, The Master’s answer was far from straight.
"Handing in my resignation is unlikely but I will think about my future when I return to Egypt," he told Egyptian radio.
"I’m yet to decide whether I will stay at Egypt’s helm or not.
"If the current technical staff remain in charge, we will offload many figures."
Football pundits came down hard on the likes of Amr Zaki and Ahmed Elmohamady after the game for their unsatisfying displays.
Shehata, who led Egypt to three consecutive Nations Cup triumphs in 2006, 2008 and 2010, said he’s to blame for the defeat.
The former Zamalek star called on the Egyptian critics not to maul his men, and yet; he slated them himself.
"The coaching staff members, including myself, are responsible for the loss. Do not criticize the players," Shehata said.
"I don’t know what happened. The players just ignored the directives and each of them did what he wanted! I told them not to underestimate the underdogs.
"But after all we still have a chance to go through."
Egypt, who drew 1-1 with Sierra Leone in their opening qualifier, are languishing at the bottom of Group G on a single point. South Africa are taking the lead with four.