Coach Hany Ramzy, whose Egypt Olympic team will play the remaining two African Nations Cup qualifiers, said Ahmed Hassan would remain the skipper during the largely meaningless games.
“I want to add the experience of Ahmed Hassan to my Olympic squad,” former Egypt defender Ramzy, who was Hassan’s teammate in the late 1990s and early 2000s, told Ahram Online on Thursday.
Egypt’s hopes of reaching next year’s Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon are virtually over after they could only collect two points from their first three games. They are at the bottom of Group G, six points behind leaders South Africa.
The Pharaohs will face Sierra Leone and Niger in their remaining matches. The Olympic team players will represent them in those matches as they get ready for the group phase of the 2012 London Games qualifiers.
Ahmed Hassan, 37, is eager to become the world’s most capped player. He is just two matches short of equaling the record of 178 international appearances held by former Saudi Arabia keeper Mohamed Al-Deayea.
“Having Hassan in the team is an honor,” added Ramzy, who is burdened with the task of qualifying Egypt for the Olympic Games for the first time since 1992.
Hassan, who said he does not mull retirement despite reports suggesting otherwise, has recently joined Zamalek after his contract with Cairo rivals Ahly expired to reunite with former Egypt coach Hassan Shehata.
He won with Egypt four Nation Cups in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010. The evergreen midfielder was voted the tournament’s best player in 2006 and 2010.
Egypt are yet to name a new boss following Shehata’s departure. They have drawn up a three-man shortlist that includes Colombian Fancisco Maturana, Serbian Zoran Filipovic and former United States coach Bob Bradley - who are vying for the vacant managerial seat.