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CAN 2008: Egyptian coach woos Accra crowd against Cameroon
Egypt meets Cameroon in the final
Egyptian coach Hassan Shehata has urged the vociferous A ccra crowd to get behind the defending champions, Pharaohs of Egypt, when they t a ke on the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in Sunday’s final of the 2008 African Cu p of nations tournament.

Egyptian coach Hassan Shehata has urged the vociferous A ccra crowd to get behind the defending champions, Pharaohs of Egypt, when they t a ke on the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in Sunday’s final of the 2008 African Cu p of nations tournament.

Moments after the team stormed Accra mid-day Friday, the Cameroonians came int o the waiting hands of hundreds of Ghanaian fans who are still mourning the Black Stars’ exit in the semi final to four time winners Cameroon.

Impressed with the warm reception his team received from the Ghanaian crowd, Shehata urged the fans to come in large number to cheer ‘the new order in African football’.

“We have dominated the club football on the continent and many years of stabil ity and long-time plan is the result of what Egypt has offered at the tournament , " Shehata said.

"We must de-emphasis the use of semi-African players at our premier tournament , considering the large turn out of foreign imports from other teams who on one hand want to help their nation and on the other hand monitor the progress of their clubs in the lucrative Europeans league."

"Why wont the clubs control our tournament when the actors are backing their requests?" Shehata queried. The coach, knowing fully well that the Ghanaians wanted to seek their pound of flesh from Cameroon with a Maghreb side win Sunday, urged them to back his team consistently the way they had rooted for the stars before their exit.

He also commended the Kumasi fans who stood by the team in the midst of largely West African opponents till this stage of the competition.

“We started in Kumasi as a lone ranger but with time, they got behind us because we play positive football and we are looking forward to a repeat against Cameroon in the final although it’s not going to be easy because they must have learnt one or two things in the first meeting at group stage,” the coach pointed out.

After an emphatic 4-1 win over the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire Thursday in the second semi-final match of the competition, most pundits at the tournament are b eginning to appreciate the dominance of the North African nation who won the las t edition as host two years ago.


Cameroon

 

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