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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, June 20, 2018 (News Wires) Hector Cuper doesn’t know what his future holds now that Egypt is on the brink of World Cup elimination.

Egypt lost Tuesday for the second time of the tournament when it fell 3-1 to host Russia.

Asked after the game if he thinks he will retain his job as coach, Cuper was unsure.

“Whether I should stay or not does not only depend on me,” Cuper said through a translator. “If those responsible are not happy with what I’ve done, I’ll be the first to leave, there’s no doubt about that.”

The 62-year-old Argentine has been in charge since 2015 and built a team around solid and reliable defense. But that defensive strength wasn’t evident against Russia, which got three second-half goals.


“The team has always defended well. Today we had 10 or 15 very bad minutes, that’s why we lost,” Cuper said. “I don’t think it was lack of concentration. You can’t be distracted when you’re playing at the World Cup. But sometimes a mistake can be made, a miscalculation, a bad step.”

Egypt made plenty of missteps in the second half, a surprise because its defense shut down Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani – two of the world’s best strikers – in its 1-0 loss to Uruguay.

The defensive breakdowns came after a strong first half in which Egypt won most of the aerial battles against a predictable Russian team. But after the break, it was almost all Russia at the St. Petersburg Stadium.

“Perhaps we made some mistakes we didn’t make against Uruguay,” Cuper acknowledged. “But that’s how matches work.”

He wasn’t pleased with Egypt’s inability to finish plays, even with striker Mohamed Salah back from injury. Salah scored once, but wasn’t able to take over the game against Russia. The shoulder injury that kept him out of Egypt’s loss to Uruguay may not have been fully healed.

“We had some good chances, but we were lacking that extra something,” Cuper said. “We weren’t decisive enough.”

Egypt’s final Group A game is against Saudi Arabia on Monday, which could also prove to be Cuper’s last match as coach.

“The national squad is above any individual, including myself,” Cuper said. “Whether I will continue or not, we will have to see. We will try to finish in the best possible manner.”

Journeys of the future

By the Gazette Editorial Board

AS global media outlets were soaked in such suspense-charged stories as the looming trade war and the chances of a US-North Korea summit convening in Singapore next week, the steppes of Kazakhstan were the scene of a momentous and very significant event. There, at 12:39GMT on Sunday, a trio of a Russian cosmonaut, an American astronaut and a third from Japan disembarked from a Soyuz capsule that brought them back to the Earth after having spent more than five months on the International Space Station (ISS). For those of us who followed the video footages, the scene was magnificent indeed. The glamour part apart, it was a trailer, to borrow a cinematographic term, of what the future of humanity may look like should all goes well, not only on the ISS which has been orbiting Earth at a speed of some 28,000 kilometres per hour since 1999 but also on the land mass of our planet and the human life on it.

 

Two of the event’s multiple implications deserve special attention. First, the trio’s mission in space was characteristically one of conducting scientific research and experiments. A Russian, an American and a Japanese were doing a job that was never marred by political orientations. It was a real service to the humankind. The kind of international co-operation that has existed on deck of the ISS for two decades does foretell the advent of a super-model of international relations that prioritises the loftier interests of humanity and the building of a better knowledge of the space over economic, political, cultural and other variations. Should this trend be let to grow, space exploration may in a foreseeable future help advance the quality of life for humans, considering that it is now commonly known that the findings and conclusions of space research translate in a matter of less than two decades into usable applications and advances in health, urban life and the management of resources on Earth.

 

Quite interesting and also of profound relevance to the multi-national character of ISS tasks and crew composition has been the story of the football that the ISS crew members were using for practicing and the returning trio brought back with them. The story goes that after the capsule had landed, Russian cosmonaut Shkaplerov carried the ball with him on the trip to Moscow and that the ball would be used during the opening game of the 2018 World Cup in Moscow on June 14. Though there been no confirmation from the FIFA so far, the mere floating of this story asserts the universal character of the ISS mission.

 

Secondly, the successful landing of the capsule that brought the space trio back ‘home’ clearly indicates that the age of space travel is drawing near. Augmenting this prediction is the observation that as the ISS trio were being escorted out of the Soyuz capsule, another trio composed of a NASA astronaut, a European Space Agency astronaut and a Russian Roscosmos astronaut were readying for a launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, tomorrow to join two NASA and one Russian crew members on the ISS. The frequency of the trips to and from the space station suggests that, barring major eventualities, it would not be too long before space travel establishes itself as a normal practice, as much normal in fact as air travel now is.

AS global media outlets were soaked in such suspense-charged stories as the looming trade war and the chances of a US-North Korea summit convening in Singapore next week, the steppes of Kazakhstan were the scene of a momentous and very significant event. There, at 12:39GMT on Sunday, a trio of a Russian cosmonaut, an American astronaut and a third from Japan disembarked from a Soyuz capsule that brought them back to the Earth after having spent more than five months on the International Space Station (ISS). For those of us who followed the video footages, the scene was magnificent indeed. The glamour part apart, it was a trailer, to borrow a cinematographic term, of what the future of humanity may look like should all goes well, not only on the ISS which has been orbiting Earth at a speed of some 28,000 kilometres per hour since 1999 but also on the land mass of our planet and the human life on it.

 

Two of the event’s multiple implications deserve special attention. First, the trio’s mission in space was characteristically one of conducting scientific research and experiments. A Russian, an American and a Japanese were doing a job that was never marred by political orientations. It was a real service to the humankind. The kind of international co-operation that has existed on deck of the ISS for two decades does foretell the advent of a super-model of international relations that prioritises the loftier interests of humanity and the building of a better knowledge of the space over economic, political, cultural and other variations. Should this trend be let to grow, space exploration may in a foreseeable future help advance the quality of life for humans, considering that it is now commonly known that the findings and conclusions of space research translate in a matter of less than two decades into usable applications and advances in health, urban life and the management of resources on Earth.

 

Quite interesting and also of profound relevance to the multi-national character of ISS tasks and crew composition has been the story of the football that the ISS crew members were using for practicing and the returning trio brought back with them. The story goes that after the capsule had landed, Russian cosmonaut Shkaplerov carried the ball with him on the trip to Moscow and that the ball would be used during the opening game of the 2018 World Cup in Moscow on June 14. Though there been no confirmation from the FIFA so far, the mere floating of this story asserts the universal character of the ISS mission.

 

Secondly, the successful landing of the capsule that brought the space trio back ‘home’ clearly indicates that the age of space travel is drawing near. Augmenting this prediction is the observation that as the ISS trio were being escorted out of the Soyuz capsule, another trio composed of a NASA astronaut, a European Space Agency astronaut and a Russian Roscosmos astronaut were readying for a launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, tomorrow to join two NASA and one Russian crew members on the ISS. The frequency of the trips to and from the space station suggests that, barring major eventualities, it would not be too long before space travel establishes itself as a normal practice, as much normal in fact as air travel now is.

By Amr Emam

Tourism Minister Rania el-Mashat has expressed optimism about the prospects of religious tourism in Egypt in the years to come. Religious sites, she said, can attract around 16 million tourists every year.

Meanwhile, improved security, a growing inflow of tourists and the fact that many of the countries that imposed travel bans on Egypt are lifting those bans now are things that fill millions of tourism workers with optimism.

Tough conditions in the tourism sector in the past few years seem, however, to have taught everybody involved in the industry a lesson: the tourism sector is always badly in need of new, flexible and innovative strategies to be able to overcome any challenges it may meet.

Now, tourism experts say for the tourism sector to keep going and improving, the government must pay more attention to Sinai, for many years the national hub of tourism investments.

"Sorry to say, Sinai's attraction for tourism investments weakened greatly in the past few years," said independent tourism expert Emad el-Tarabishi. "Complicated tourism investment administrative procedures scared a large number of tourism investors from Sinai," the weekly magazine, Akhir Saa'a, quoted el-Tarabishi as saying.

Southern Sinai in particular is home to hundreds of tourist projects and facilities that used to attract millions of tourists to them every year.
These facilities were deeply affected by the recession that hit the tourist market in late 2015 when a Russian passenger plane exploded in mid-air over Sinai.

The bombing precipitated a series of travel suspensions to the Red Sea resorts, including Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada.

The travel suspensions brought an unprecedented recession to the tourism sector which affected the overall economy for several reasons. One of the reasons was that this sector employs close to four million people, according to the Tourism Ministry.

Most of the travel suspensions for the Red Sea resorts are terminated now and tourists have started returning.

Tourism experts say, however, the government needs to capitalise on these positive developments by solving the problems of the tourism sector.
One of the problems, according to el-Tarabishi, is the lack of funding for small projects in the sector.

He called on the government to bring the private sector and the government sector together with the aim of opening the door with the presence of sufficient financing for small tourism projects.

"These small projects create jobs for a great many people," el-Tarabishi said. "They also offer great services to the tourism sector as a whole."

He also called for organising a large number of tourism festivals, expecting these festivals to turn into magnets for local and foreign tourists everywhere in Egypt.

Atef Abdelatif, a member of the South Sinai Investors' Society, called for implementing a previously announced initiative by the Central Bank of Egypt to offer financial support to tourism investors who faced financial problems.

The initiative allocated LE5 billion pounds to support the owners of these projects, especially those who were affected by the recession that hit the tourism sector in the past two years.
"Implementing the initiative is a challenging mission, in fact," Abdelatif said.

He added that in the years of recession, a large number of those who worked in the tourism sector left this sector for other jobs.
These workers, he said, are returning to the sector now with conditions gradually improving.

"They, however, need training, having stayed away from the tourism sector for close to two years," Abdelatif said of the workers.