Egypt manager Bob Bradley does not intend to call up Mohamed Zidan again after he left the team’s training camp ahead of a crucial Nations Cup qualifier, goalkeeping coach Zaki Abdel-Fattah said on Friday.
Zidan, who turned down an offer from German Bundesliga side Mainz to extend his contract for one year, opted to skip the 30 June qualifier away to Central Africa to discuss a deal with an unnamed Chinese club.
Seven-time African champions Egypt will have to overturn a 3-2 first-leg deficit when they face Central Africa if they are to avoid missing out on the Nations Cup for the second consecutive time.
“Mr. Bradley rejected Zidan’s request to leave the training camp and fly to China, but the player still insisted to leave. There are lines that should not be crossed and Egypt’s interests are more important than anything else,” Abdel-Fattah told Ahram Online.
“The coach has on several occasions allowed Zidan to miss Egypt’s training camps to concentrate on his club career, and that helped him score five goals in five consecutive games with Mainz. Egypt is more important than any player who cares only about his interests.”
Abdel-Fattah also said Bradley might call up Ahly’s Emad Meteb as a replacement following Egypt’s game against Central Africa.
Zidan has been one of Egypt’s key players since making his international debut in a Nations Cup qualifier in 2007.
He played a pivotal role in helping the Pharaohs win the biennial tournament in 2008 and 2010 and was also part of the team’s squad for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, where he scored a famous goal against five-time world champions Brazil.
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