Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane. Alhy official website
Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane announced that the team will suffer an absence of certain players during the Egyptian Premier League games as a number of the Red Devils’ key-players will be taking part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Egypt’s U23 national football team coach Shawki Gharib called up six Ahly players, goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawi; defender Ahmed Ramadan; midfielders Akram Tawfik, Nasser Maher, and Taher Mohamed Taher; and striker Salah Mohsen to take part in the Olympic team's squad after finalising their mission with the Red Devils in the African Champions League final on 17 July.
Ahly are scheduled to play their postponed league games after playing the CAF Champions League final against the Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa.
"The league games after the CAF Champions League final are expected to be difficult as we will be missing a number of our key-players who will be joining the Olympic team," Mosimane was quoted as saying on the club's official website after beating Smouha 4-0 in the Egyptian Premier League on Sunday.
"Losing five players in the Egyptian Premier League games is very difficult!" the South African coach added.
Egypt’s U23 team will open their Olympic campaign against Spain on 22 July before facing Argentina three days later and Australia on 28 July.
Ahly will play their five postponed league games from 22 July to 5 August and they have to win these games to overtake arch-rivals and table leaders Zamalek with a two-point lead.
Egyptian Premier League title holders Ahly are second in the table with 45 points, 16 behind perennial Cairo rivals Zamalek, who played six matches more.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)