No extra security for Israeli coach in Egypt

Egypt will not provide extra security for Ghana coach Avram Grant despite alleged plots to attack him.

Neri Weiss ,

Avram Grant
Avram Grant
Flash 90

Israeli soccer coach Avram Grant, who currently coaches Ghana’s national team, will not receive extra security while his team plays in Egypt this coming Sunday.

Tharwat Sweilam, the head of Egypt’s Soccer Association, on Thursday denied reports that Egypt had accepted an offer from Ghana FA to beef up security for Grant ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifying match, despite reports that several Egyptian fans had plotted to attack the Israeli coach before, during and after the game at Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria.

“Ghana is a normal team just like any other opponents that visit Egypt. The security measures will not see any changes,” Sweilam stressed, according to DMC Sports TV.

“We don’t care about the nationality of their manager or any other thing. We know the capabilities of our security forces and their ability to guard any national team. We don’t want to dispel our concentration. The most important thing for us is winning against Ghana in order to move closer towards World Cup qualification,” he added.

Grant's Israeli nationality has shone a spotlight on ongoing discrimination within the Muslim world against citizens of the Jewish state.

Israeli nationals are barred from entering most Arab countries, along with some other Muslim countries such as Iran, since most do not recognize the existence of an independent Jewish state.

Egypt and Israel, however, have a peace treaty which was signed in 1979. Nevertheless, the two countries’ ties have been formally cold, and Egypt's political elite remains hostile to any normalization of ties with Israel.

In fact, a recent poll found that Egyptians see Israel as the "most hostile" of their neighbors, despite the peace treaty.

Most recently, Egyptian parliamentarian Tawfik Okasha came under fire for hosting Israel’s ambassador to Egypt at his home.

Okasha's hosting of Koren sparked outrage in parliament where one lawmaker hit him with a shoe -- an insult in the Arab world. He was later dismissed from parliament altogether, and subsequently apologized for his actions.