Egypt U-23 coach Hany Ramzy is optimistic despite the decision to move the eight-team African qualifying tournament for next year’s London Olympics from Egypt to Algeria.
“Playing the tournament in Algeria may be for the sake of our team. I hope we will be the tournaments’ champions there,” Ramzy told TV channel Al-Hayat on Monday.
Egypt was supposed to host the tournament, which will run from 26 November to 10 December, but the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced on Monday that Egypt withdrew upon request of the Egyptian “higher” authorities.
The decision came as the mini-tournament date was set to coincide with the anticipated Egyptian parliamentary elections, putting an enormous strain on the security forces.
Egypt’s Olympic team have drawn Group A of the eight-team African qualifying tournament, along with Ivory Coast, South Africa and Gabon.
The winners will qualify directly for the London Games. The runners up in the two groups will face each other for another place in the Olympics.
The losing team will still have a chance to qualify as they will face an Asian representative in a two-legged tie.