Egypt cancel Olympic qualifying tournament
Wednesday 12 October 2011
Security concerns have caused Egypt to cancel plans to host an eight-team tournament to decide Africa's representatives at the London Olympics.
An Egypt Football Association spokesman said they had been asked to withdraw as hosts by authorities concerned over a date clash with Parliamentary elections on 28 November. The eight-team tournament is due to be played from 26 November until 10 December, with the top-three finishers going into the men's football tournament at London 2012 and the fourth-placed side playing off against an Asian country for an Olympic spot.
The teams still in contention are Algeria, Egypt, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and former gold medal winners Nigeria.
Meanwhile, former Italy international Dario Bonetti is a shock first victim of an expected cull of coaches after the conclusion of the African Nations Cup qualifiers at the weekend.
Bonetti has been sacked by Zambia despite the side qualifying for the finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon next year. Zambia finished top of their group but a goalless draw at home in their last game against Libya angered officials and supporters.
"We don't think he can take this team any further," Football Association of Zambian president Kalusha Bwalya said yesterday. "We need someone to come in and shake up the squad because we have ambitions of playing at the next World Cup."
Bonetti, 50, had been in the job for 14 months and amassed a record of eight wins, three draws and four losses. The axe is expected to fall on several other coaches in the coming days and weeks.
Nigeria's football association have demanded an explanation from coach Samson Siasia after they missed out on Nations Cup qualification.
Uganda's Scottish coach Bobby Williamson said his fate was now in the hands of officials after they failed to win at home at the weekend and qualify for the first time since 1978.
In South Africa, coach Pitso Mosimane's tenure remains shaky after they missed out on qualifying because of his failure to understand the rules. He thought his team needed a draw to go through but in fact they had to win because head-to-heads trumped goal difference when teams finished level.
"We will be looking at his position," said Robin Petersen, the South African Football Association's chief executive.
Growing speculation over the future of Javier Clemente as Cameroon coach prompted the country's football federation to last week deny it had done a deal with ex-France coach Raymond Domenech to take over.
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