Vieira: Zamalek job tougher than leading Iraq
Zamalek boss Jorvan Vieira has described his five months in charge of the Egyptian giants as the most difficult of his career and says conditions are even tougher than his stint with the previously war-torn Iraq.
The Egyptian Premier League has been suspended since the Port Said Stadium tragedy of nearly 12 months ago, which saw 79 people die in a mass attack on Al Ahly fans.
Vieira, who has coached numerous teams in the UAE including Bani Yas and Sharjah, is no stranger to the perils of politics in the region and was coaching Iraq when they astonishingly won the Asian Cup in 2007.
But the 59-year-old White Knights boss says what’s happening in Egypt is “unacceptable”. “It’s been terrible, terrible, terrible,” Vieira told Sport360°.
“Very difficult. You cannot be a coach. You have to be a psychologist, a father, a friend. Last you can be a coach. Because you have to find a way to motivate your players to come into training. To work properly. To push them in the physical training day – when they have to run and they have to jump.
“They are like ‘Coach, no leap, coach, oh coach’ and I have to say ‘habibi yalla now this is for you, you have to do it.’ It’s not easy. It’s incredible what is happening with Egyptian football. Incredible and unacceptable.
"Because Egypt has tradition in football, Egypt do not deserve this situation, they live for football. The rest does not concern me.”
Vieira, who says he is practically living in the UAE since his family still reside in the country, has cast more doubt on his future with Zamalek, even though the league is scheduled to resume on February 2nd.
The Luso-Brazilian is currently in Abu Dhabi and will link up with his squad on Monday as they prepare for the Matchworld Cup, a four-team friendly tournament featuring the Egyptian side, Zenit St Petersburg, Shakhtar Donetskand Al Hilal.
Vieira’s frequent visits to the UAE have spurred rumours of his potential return to the Emirates but while he says nothing of moving back to the Gulf, he does admit he is unaware how much longer he can survive the tough times in Egypt.
When asked if this was the most difficult situation he’s dealt with in football, Vieira cuts me off and says: “More than Iraq. I don’t know for how long (I can keep going) very honestly.”