Egypt announced on Sunday its first-ever national team made up entirely of local club-based players amid preparations for the 2018 African Nations Championship, which will take place between 11 January and 2 February in Kenya.
Egypt had previously declined to participate in the tournament since its establishment in 2009. The Egyptian FA has backtracked on this decision, recently appointing Egypt's former veteran defender Hany Ramzy to take the team's charge and select the squad for the first time.
The 31-man squad announced by Ramzy on Sunday included seven players from the Egyptian League's second division, while all the remaining players come from first division clubs.
The first edition of the African Nations Championship (sometimes referred to as the African Championship of Nations or CHAN) was held in Ivory Coast in 2009. DR Congo are the winners of the first edition and the last edition of 2016.
The local-based players who already play in the domestic competitions are the only ones allowed to participate in this tournament.
Egypt’s team will be holding its first training camp from 8 to 12 March. They will play a friendly match against Benin in another camp later in the same month from 23 to 27.
If the Pharaohs pass Morocco in the qualifiers next August, they will be participating at the CHAN finals for the first time.
The first leg of the qualifiers will be on 11 August in Cairo, while the return match will be one week later in Morocco.
Ahly, Zamalek, Masry and Smouha players will join Egypt's squad starting from the second training camp.
Egypt's full local-based national team squad:
Goalkeepers: Ali Loutfy (Enppi), Mohamed Awaad (Ismaily), Islam Tarek (Tanta), Emad El-Sayed (Talae El-Geish).
Defenders: Ali Fawzy, Salah Soliman (Enppi), Mohamd El-Sayed, Hesham Shehata (Ittihad of Alexandria), Ahmed Samy, Hussein El-Shahaat (Maqassa), Elsayed Salem, Mahmoud Alaa (Wadi Degla).
Midfielders: Mahmoud Metwaly, Mohamed Fathi, Ibrahim Hassan (Ismaily), Nour El-Sayed (Ittihad of Alexandria), Mohamed Helal (Wadi Degla), Mostafa Shbeita (Petrojet), Mohamed Hassan (Baladiet El-Mahlaa), Hisham Mohamed (Maqassa), Walid Hassan (El-Entag El-Harby).
Strikers: Khaled Kamar (Ittihad of Alexandria), Ahmed El-Shiekh (Maqassa), Arafaa El-Sayed (Wadi Degla), Mohamed Ramadan (Petrojet), Mahmoud Salah, Mohamed Antar (Assiouty Sport), Ahmed Madbouly (El-Nasr Taadeen), Osama Ibrahim (Masr), Amr Maarie (Enppi).
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