A day after dozens of soccer fans died in Egypt, the former U.S. national team coach spoke about the tragedy and reiterated his desire to carry the nation to the World Cup.New Egypt head coach Bob Bradley addressed his uncertain future with the national team less than 24 hours after 74 fans died during an Egyptian league soccer game on Wednesday.
"I have not thought about this at all today," Bradley told Egyptian soccer website Stad El Ahly. "Our thoughts today are with the families of the victims. We wanted to show respect for the people who lost their lives and for the people who are most affected by this tragedy."
The Egyptian federation has suspended all professional competitions in the country indefinitely and several players have announced their retirement following the tragedy that occurred at the end of a match between rivals Al-Masry and Al-Ahly at Port Said.
Bradley was at another game when he received the reports of violence. The game he attended was canceled at halftime and he went home to see the footage on TV.
"It's a tragedy to see this take place at a football match, and to see so many young people lose their lives is a terrible thing and something that is very sad for everyone living in Egypt," he told the website. "All Egyptian people feel this today."
Egypt is scheduled to play its first World Cup qualifier under Bradley against Mozambique on June 1 before traveling to Guinea seven days later. It may be difficult for the former U.S. national team manager to field a team given the uncertain future of the sport in the country.
Egypt hasn't played in the world's biggest soccer competition since 1990.
"Of course, we feel strongly about what we're here to do in Egypt," Bradley told the website. "It's the dream of all the people here to qualify for the World Cup. We came here to work with the people and work with the federation to try to accomplish this dream."
Bradley was hired by Egypt last September after being fired by the U.S. following the squad's Gold Cup final loss to Mexico. He currently lives outside of Cairo with his wife and has acclimated nicely to his new surroundings. He appreciates the culture in the country.
"Everywhere you go, every person you meet, this is the dream," Bradley explained to Goal.com last month. "That's what brings you here, the idea that we will work and do everything we can to make that happen."
Bradley urges the people of Egypt to "stick together" during the difficult time.
"They must be strong. They must always realize the hope for the future and realize to accomplish great things for Egypt as a country and again as a football team that the strength comes from the unity of the people," he said.