Egypt goalie Ekramy denies 'feigning injury' ahead of Ghana clash

Ahram Online , Sunday 22 Jan 2017,
Sherif Ekramy (Reuters)

Egypt goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy made a long statement via his twitter account on Sunday, saying in a veiled criticism of the team's goalkeeping coach that he did not feign injury.

"I was honestly astonished over statements made by Captain Ahmed Nagi saying I'm not injured… I won't reply to this and the team's doctor will announce details about my injury," Ekramy wrote.

Nagi said on TV Saturday that Ekramy doesn't suffer from a hamstring muscle strain, as he was easily able to sprint during trainings.

Ekramy, whose injury was announced ahead of the team's Egypt's first match in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations hinted that his injury was caused by heavy trainings.

Ahmed El-Shenawy
Ahmed El-Shenawy (C) reacts as he walks off the pitch due to an injury during Mali game (AFP)

"If these [Nagi's] statements were made to reassure the fans, then my appearance on the bench should have been enough. If they were made in order to de-link my injury and Ahmed [El-Shennawy]'s with the heavy trainings, then I will not allow this underestimation of what I've been bearing since our arrival in Gabon," Ekramy said.

The Pharaohs, who returned to the Africa Cup of Nations this month after almost seven years of absence, have been facing a goalkeeping crisis, with the team's first-choice keeper El-Shennawy of Zamalek sustaining a hamstring injury in the opener's goalless draw with Mali last week and had to be substituted for veteran goalie Essam El-Hadary.

Veteran goalie Essam El-Hadary subbed in for El-Shennawy in the Mali game, making the 44-year-old the oldest player ever to play in the tournament.

El-Hadary managed to keep his net clean against Uganda as well on Saturday in Egypt's 1-0 win over Uganda.

Essam El-Hadary
Essam El-Hadary during Uganda game. (AFP)

Ekramy wrote that "Captain Nagi asked me frankly to bear [the pain] and force myself to be ready in case I was needed, so I only participated in the last trainings before the game."

"I didn't hesitate because this is my duty to my national team; I won't accept any questioning of my loyalty or honesty by accusing me of faking the injury," he added.

"I will be with the team under any circumstances and I will be under rehabilitation until the pain is resolved, hoping I can appear in the Ghana game fully recovered," he concluded.

Egypt's game against Ghana on Wednesday will decide if the Arab country can progress to the quarterfinals. With Ghana guaranteed to qualify—having won their first two games in the tournament—Egypt needs at least a draw to progress.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)

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