Egypt request postponement of AFCON qualifier against Guinea

Ahram Online , Saturday 13 May 2023

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) have asked the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to postpone the upcoming Pharaohs match against Guinea in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers due to close time proximity with the Champions League final.

Egypt s Mohamed Salah in action by Soriano Mane of Guinea-Bissau during the African Cup of Nations G
Egypt s Mohamed Salah in action by Soriano Mane of Guinea-Bissau during the African Cup of Nations Group D soccer match between Egypt and Guinea-Bissau in Garoua, Cameroon, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. AP

Egypt is scheduled to meet Guinea in the away game in Group D of the 2023 African Cup of Nations qualifiers at Morocco's Grand Stadium of Marrakech on 14 June.

However, the Egyptian side Ahly, who contribute several players to the Pharaohs starting line up, could be playing in the final match of the Champions League on 11 June - just three days before the Egypt-Guinea clash.

On Friday, Ahly beat Esperance of Tunisia 3-0 in the first leg of the semi-finals in the Champions League, and are all but certain to play in a finals match.

"We have asked Guinea to delay the game but they rejected our demand yesterday, saying they have another friendly game scheduled on 17 June," Mohamed Ghoraba, the manager of the Egyptian national team, told an Egyptian radio station on Saturday.

“We have already contacted the CAF twice to solve this problem but they have not answered us."

“We will appeal again to the CAF since Ahly's international players would not have enough time to join the national team if they play the CAF Champions League final, which would be a mere three days before the Guinea game,” Ghoraba added.

“National team coach Rui Vitoria is quite upset because all of his preparations for the Guinea match are on hold," he added.

Egypt currently lead Group D with nine points out of four games, ahead of second-placed Guinea on goal difference.

Malawi and Ethiopia are in third and fourth places, respectively, with three points.

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