'Rather starve than coach Israel'

Egyptian coach says he's heard of Israelis killing Arabs, not playing soccer.

February 10, 2010 04:59
1 minute read.
Egypt national soccer team coach Hassan Shehata wi

Egypt national soccer team coach Hassan Shehata 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

An Egyptian coach says he’s heard of Israelis killing Arabs, but not playing soccer.

Hassan Shehata, coach of the Egyptian national soccer team, said of the Israeli national team on Tuesday that “even if it was the only team that requests my services, I wouldn’t agree [to coach it],” Army Radio reported.

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“It would be more honorable to me and my family if I die of hunger rather than consider coaching the Israeli team,” Shehata said.

He made the comments in response to an interview in which an Israeli commentator suggested him for the post.

“I understand the source of Israel’s jealousy as far as the success of the Egyptian team goes, but I cannot consider visiting Israel or coaching its team,” he said. “Even if it was the only team in the world and requested my services I would refuse – how could they think that I would come to coach the team of a country that murders children, women and the elderly, and help elevate the name of the team that represents occupation?”

“All my life I’ve heard that Israel kills Arabs, fires missiles and destroys Arab villages, but this is the first time in my life that I’ve heard that in Israel they play soccer,” he said.

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