Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz has had a long and distinguished career but he will be missing from the dugout for potentially the crowning moment of his quarter-century of coaching around the world.
A red card in the semi-final win for Egypt over hosts Cameroon means a two-match ban for the 68-year-old coach and banishment to the stands for Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal in Yaounde, where he will have to run matters remotely.
Queiroz, born in Mozambique when it was still a Portuguese colony, has been in charge of the Egyptian side only since September but made a quick mark as the team overcame a slow start to the tournament in Cameroon to reach the final.
They eliminated Cameroon on post-match penalties at the end of a tough physical tussle on Thursday but Queiroz was red-carded for persistent bickering from the touchline, looking to be in an agitated state from the start of the game.
He said afterwards that the referee, Bakary Gassama, had intimidated his side from even before the start of the match but the Gambian official has since been commended by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for his handling of the game.
“CAF does not respect Egypt, from the schedules to the quality of the pitches — we had the worst pitches. We are Egypt,” Queiroz said after the game.
Queiroz, whose assistant had already been banned after the previous game, would have been expected to behave better, given his considerable experience at major tournaments, including three successive World Cups and coaching at the Asian Cup, Copa America and Africa’s championship.
Queiroz, who was Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Manchester United and also the coach at Real Madrid, took charge of Portugal at the 2010 World Cup finals and Iran in 2014 and again in 2018.
This is his second Cup of Nations finals, having got to the quarter-finals with South Africa in Mali 20 years ago.
He lost in the Asian Cup semi-finals with Iran in 2019 –- his last game in charge of them after an eight-year stint — and the same year was at Copa America with Colombia, where they were eliminated on post-match penalties in the quarter-finals.
Progress to Sunday’s final comes after shrugging off a volley of criticism from Egypt when they were beaten in their opening game at the tournament by Nigeria.
It has since been confirmed that he will be staying in the job for the World Cup qualifying playoffs next month, when he has a chance to ensure a return to a fourth successive World Cup.