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Thursday, 21 February 2019

Egypt cancel football friendly amid security unrest

The Pharaohs remove the friendly game from their preparation plan for World Cup qualifiers as arrangements fail

Eslam Omar, Thursday 22 Aug 2013
Archives: Egypt's players celebrate after scoring against Zimbabwe during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match (Photo: Reuters)
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The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) canceled the national team friendly game scheduled for 6 September amid preparations for the qualifiers to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"The association contacted many of its African counterparts negotiating for a football game amid the team's camp but they all refused because of their full schedules," EFA spokesman Tharwat Swailam told Al-Ahram Sports on Thursday.

The Pharaohs – who topped Group G and secured their place in the final qualifying round of the African qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil – are scheduled to play their last round against Guinea on 10 September.

"The current political situation makes hosting a friendly so difficult due to security unrest," the EFA official said, as Egypt is witnessing security problems since mass protests ousted former president Mohamed Morsi.

Swailam however confirmed that the Pharaohs will be starting their closed training camp 1 September in Dar El-Defaa Stadium in Cairo.

"We informed the team's coach [American Bob Bradley] of the situation. He agreed on canceling the friendly and starting the camp as scheduled," he concluded.

The holders of three successive African Cup of Nations Cups, 2006 and 2008 and 2010, Egypt are bidding for their first qualification ticket to the most prestigious tournament since 1990.

The African draw for the final round, featuring the 10 group winners, will be made on 16 September in Cairo.

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