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Zamalek refuse to release players for Egypt friendly

Cairo club says it wants to keep four players called up by Egypt for a friendly game against Oman on Wednesday

Ahram Online, Friday 10 Aug 2012
Zamalek
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Zamalek said they will not release four players for international duty as a row looms with Egypt coach Bob Bradley.

“The technical staff has decided not to send Ahmed El-Shennawy, Mahmoud Fathallah, Omar Gaber and Mohamed Ibrahim to Egypt’s senior team for the Oman friendly,” Zamalek’s director Hamada Anwar said on the club’s official website.

“Zamalek need the players in the upcoming African Champions League game against TP Mazembe, and the Oman friendly is not included in FIFA’s international fixtures.”

The White Knights were enraged after former US boss Bradley opted to include only two players from Cairo rivals Ahly, both of whom would not be available for a Champions League game against Ghana’s Berekum Chelsea due to suspension.

According to Egypt’s goalkeeping coach Zaki Abdel-Fattah, who acts as Bradley’s spokesman, the American coach sought to support Ahly because they would face Chelsea away from home only four days after the Pharaohs meet Oman in Muscat.

Zamalek, who made a disastrous start to their Champions League group-stage campaign after losing their first three matches, will host TP Mazembe of the DR Congo in Cairo.

Egypt’s friendly against Oman is their first game since they stunningly failed to qualify for next year’s African Nations Cup in South Africa after a 4-3 aggregate defeat by minnows Central Africa in the qualifiers.

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