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Egyptian coach's divine selection

THEY say politics and sport shouldn't mix. Football Loco would throw religion in there as well, but Egypt coach and devout Muslim Hassan Shehata would beg to differ.

Shehata caused a stir this week by suggesting that his team selection is based on a player's religious motivations rather than his actual ability as a footballer, and that "pious behaviour" was his first priority when selecting his team.

"Without it, we will never select any player regardless of his potential," said Shehata. "I always strive to make sure that those who wear the Egypt jersey are on good terms with God."

One report quoted Shehata as saying he had cut striker Mido from the squad four days after initially being selected because the former Middlesbrough man's party-boy lifestyle didn't fit in with what was required.

Irish Independent