Egypt’s national team are drawing up Plan B to cope with the possibility of the Premier League being called off, assistant coach Diaa El-Sayed said on Wednesday.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has not been given the green light to stage the competition that was cancelled last season in the wake of February’s Port Said tragedy.
The interior ministry, which took the lion’s share of blame for Egypt’s worst-ever football disaster, remains reluctant to re-assume responsibility for securing the usually tense league games involving the likes of Cairo duo Ahly and Zamalek and coastal clubs Masry and Ismaily.
“If the league is cancelled, we will ask the EFA to arrange three friendly games in December, three in January and one in February before we face Zimbabwe in a World Cup qualifier in March,” El-Sayed, the assistant of head coach Bob Bradley, said in a television interview after Egypt played out a dull 0-0 draw with Georgia in a friendly.
The Pharaohs marked Bradley’s first year as the team’s coach with an uninspiring stalemate in Georgia that exposed the technical problems the team have been suffering since domestic football activities stopped in February.
A sluggish Egypt side hardly troubled Georgia in the first half but managed to create some goal-scoring opportunities after the break following the introduction of lively midfielder Saleh Gomaa and burly striker Amr Zaki.
“Despite the draw, this match was useful. We played against a physical side, and that benefited the players who will also face another physical side (Zimbabwe) next year,” El-Sayed added.
“The head coach also monitored certain players to assess their displays,” he added.
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