AMMAN: Tributes to Mahmoud El Gohary, trophy-winning coach of Egypt and top clubs Al Ahly and Zamalek, have been led by FIFA vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein.
El-Gohary, adviser to Prince Ali and technical director at the Jordan Football Association, has died in Amman aged 74.
Prince Ali said: “I grew up watching and admiring Mahmoud El Gohary as a true football coaching great and hearing about his legendary start as a player and top scorer for Egypt in 1959 when the Egypt were crowned champions of the African Cup of Nations.
“He was destined to become one of the greatest players ever from our region had he not suffered a serious injury in his prime, at 26 years of age, which effectively ended his football playing career. What cemented his legendary status was his determination to continue in the sport he loved as a coach.
“To name only a few of his achievements; securing a victory for Egypt in the African Cup of Nations as team manager, taking his nation to the World Cup in Italy in 1990 for the first time since 1934, which stands to be an historic milestone for Egypt. On the club level, El-Gohary took both Zamalek and Al Ahly to win both their league titles and the CAF Champions League.
“His achievements as a coach have also won him the title of Best Arab Coach three times (89, 93, 98), Best African coach in 1998 and one of the best 20 coaches of the year chosen by FIFA in 1998.”
El-Gohary was brought to Jordanian football by Prince Ali in 2002 and took the national team to the quarter-finals of the 2007 Asian Cup and to highest FIFA World ranking of 37.
He retired from coaching in 2009 and was football adviser to Prince Ali and technical director of the Jordan FA, overseeing the development programme of the youth national teams as well as grassroots activities.
His legacy to Jordanian football was a five-year plan for domestic youth football development.
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