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Page last updated at 16:33 GMT, Thursday, 31 March 2011 17:33 UK

Egypt FA will not sack Shehata

Hassan Shehata
Shehata has led the Pharaohs to three straight African titles

The Egypt Football Association (EFA) has quashed mounting speculation about the future of coach Hassan Shehata.

The Pharaohs are stranded at the bottom of their qualifying group for the 2012 tournament after losing 1-0 to South Africa on Saturday.

The seven-time African champion's poor run has led to calls for Shehata to be sacked, even after he led Egypt to three straight African titles in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

But the EFA insisted after an emergency board meeting in Cairo on Thursday that Shehata was going nowhere.

The EFA said in a statement it had "renewed confidence in Hassan Shehata, coach of the national team, and his staff to lead the team through the next phase (of qualifiers)."

EFA president Samir Zaher had called the emergency meeting of the association's board of directors to discuss the position of the national team in qualifiers for the 2012 tournament following Saturday's loss to an injury-time winner by South Africa striker Katlego Mphela.

It was the first time the Pharaohs have lost a competitive international to South Africa.

Egypt were also beaten away in Niger and drew at home to Sierra Leone to put themselves in danger of missing out on the competition.

"The past three months have been difficult for the team and the country but I'm happy the EFA wants me to continue in my job," Shehata told BBC Sport on Thursday.

Thursday's statement also said there was "agreement" within the EFA that Egypt's domestic football league would recommence on 13 April.

The championship was postponed in early February because of the protests that removed long-serving president Hosni Mubarak from power.

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see also
'Magician' Aboutreika back for Egypt
20 Mar 11 |  African
Champions Egypt stunned by Niger
10 Oct 10 |  African
2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers
10 Apr 10 |  African
Shehata ruled out of Nigeria job
10 Feb 10 |  African
Egypt return to heroes' welcome
01 Feb 10 |  African

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