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I'm ready to play goalkeeper for Egypt: Right-back Fathi

As the Pharaohs suffer a goalie crisis, Ahmed Fathi says he is ready to play wherever the team puts him

Ahram Online, Saturday 8 Nov 2014
Ahmed Fathi
Ahly's Ahmed Fathi (Photo: Bassam El-Zoghbi)
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Egypt right-back Ahmed Fathi says he will play in any position for the Pharaohs, even goalkeeper, in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations' home qualifier against Senegal.

The comments were in response to questions from reporters on Saturday about the possibility of Fathi filling the left-back slot.

"I'm under the command of the management to play in any position they field me in, even if it means playing as a goalkeeper," said Fathi, who plays full-back for Qatari side Umm Salal.

"Of course I would best perform in my traditional position, but I'm ready to fill any gap."

The Pharaohs received a huge blow with the news that bona fide left-back Mohamed Abdel-Shafy will be unable to feature in the crucial double-header against Senegal and Tunisia due to a hamstring injury picked up in a league game with Saudi side Ahly Jeddah.

Despite the availability of natural left-backs Sabry Rahil and Ismaily's Bahaa Magdy, manager Shawky Gharib could well rely on 29-year-old Fathi on the left flank due to the previous duo's lack of international experience.

Even though he failed to convince as a left-back in the 2-0 away defeat to Senegal in the opening qualifier, Fathi is still widely tipped to assume the role again.

Egypt, who are currently third in Group G, entertain Senegal on 15 November before travelling to leaders Tunisia four days later.

Seven-time-African champions Egypt have failed to qualify for the last two Africa Cup of Nations editions – and now face an uphill struggle to avoid missing out on the biennial tournament for the third time running. 

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