Egyptian football appears to have failed at all its attempt to escape the disappointment over the past few years. It is very clear to all observers that administrative errors and the failure of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) is the common factor in all the letdowns of Egyptian football over the past four years. However, members of the association did not meet demands to submit a collective resignation in recognition of this failure. Rather, the management of a team would be reshuffled, or an entire coaching staff would be dismissed, but those in power remain as if nothing happened.
The Egyptian national team lost to Ghana 6-1 in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. The same team lost the African Cup of Nations in 2012 and 2013 and then disgracefully disqualified from the 2015 World Cup qualifiers. All youths teams for both 1995 and 1998 failed to reach the African championships.
The Olympic team of Egypt for under 23s proved that Egyptian football is suffering on all levels. They lost the African Cup of Nations for that age group and Egypt was deprived of the chance to take part in the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016 in Brazil.
Everyone put their hopes on the Egyptian Olympic team. The media promoted the talented players as if they were jewels shining in the sky of African football. But the team failed; the first match against the Algerian team ended with a draw (1-1). The public was outraged, so the team put on all their gears and finished the game with a draw against the strong Nigerian team 2-2, despite much injustice.
In the third and final round of that phase, Egypt played against Mali, which lost two games against Algeria and Nigeria, leaving it without a chance to qualify. Many believed the Egyptian team will win a seat at the golden square and possibly qualify for the Olympics.
However, Egyptian football again failed against the weakest team of the group (1-0). The youth of Egypt tailed the group with only two points, putting them in seventh place in rankings ahead of only the Zambian team, which did not reap any points in the tournament.
The Algerian national team may be the only Arab team that qualified for the Olympics. Egypt and Tunisia lost the qualifiers and Morocco, Libya, and Sudan failed to get anywhere close. The Algerian team will be facing South Africa in the semifinals with a chance to become one of three teams to play in Brazil.
Four years ago, Egyptian under-23 players succeeded in qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics. This was before the current EFA board took chair. At the time, Egypt played in the third group with Brazil, Belarus, and New Zealand. They lost 2-3 to Brazil, finished with a draw (1-1) against New Zealand, and won 1-3 against Belarus. The team qualified for the second round with the support of former Egyptian football legend Mohamed Abu Trika, who played as an overage player, and scored two goals against Brazil and Belarus. The team lost in the quarter-finals 3-0 against Japan.
Egypt’s football team has taken part in the Olympic Games 10 times. Their best achievement was achieving fourth place in 1928 and 1964 and qualifying for the quarter-finals in 1984 and 2012.