Friday, May 04, 2012

Bob Bradley finding his footing in Egypt

When football riots broke out in Egypt in February, American Bob Bradley did not hesitate to speak out despite having only just arrived as the new coach of the national team. It didn't matter that he'd been in the country less than six months or was still coming to terms with Egypt's post-revolution politics.

He felt he needed to make his views clear on the events of Feb. 1, when up to 74 people were killed when supporters of two rival clubs clashed. The cause remains murky. Several police officers have been charged with helping supporters of Port Said's Al-Masry club attack rivals from Cairo's Al-Ahly.

"It became apparent this was way more than rival fans who didn't get along,'' said Bradley, whose team was in Dubai for several friendlies ahead of the team's 2014 World Cup qualifiers in June.

"As the coach of national team, you have responsibility,'' he said. "The national team has to be connected to people, represent the people. There is a responsibility when something like this happens. You can't just ignore what took place. You can't have your head in the sand and totally ignore it.''

Bradley's willingness to be heard on the issue has helped make his early months in the Egypt job a success so far.

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