Egyptian squad will skip foreign-based players for Burundi friendly

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 16 May 2015

Egyptian players with European teams are currently occupied with league games

Egypt players
Egypt players look on after Tunisia's Fakhreddine Ben Youssef scored during their Africa Cup of Nations group G qualifying soccer match in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 (Photo: AP)

Egypt's national football team coach Hector Cuper has recalled 23 players for the team's coming closed camp, excluding those players who are based abroad.  

During the camp the Pharaohs will play a friendly game against Burundi as part of their preparations for the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Argentinian Cuper decided to make use of the players who are competing in the Egyptian league as foreign-based players are involved in games with their European teams 

The Egypt-Burundi friendly will take place on Thursday.

"Egypt's technical staff have chosen to play two friendly matches against Burundi and Malawi on 12 May and 8 June respectively," the Egyptian Football Association announced in a statement on its official website.

"Argentinian coach Hector Cuper has rejected offers to play against Sierra Leone, Djibouti, Uzbekistan, Australia and Syria, choosing to face Burundi and Malawi for the appropriate dates that were available."

The Egypt squad witnessed the recall of defender Karim Hafez who plays for Belgian side Lierse.

The holders of seven Cup of Nations trophies, Egypt have been drawn in Group G of the 2017 qualifiers along with Nigeria, Tanzania and Chad.

They will kick off their bid to reach the Gabon finals on 14 June against Tanzania.

Cuper's first challenge will be to bounce back into Africa's football elite after three failed attempts in a row, though the ultimate aim is to achieve the long-held dream of qualifying for the World Cup, something Egyptians have not experienced since 1990.

Egypt squad:

Goalkeepers: Ahmed El-Sehnawy (Zamalek), Sherif Ekarmi (Ahly) and Mohamed El-Shenawy (Petrojet)

Defenders: Ali Gabr, Hazem Emam, Omar Gaber (Zamalek), Mohamed Naguib, Saad Samir, Sabri Rahil (Ahly), Ragab Nabil (Wadi Degla) and Karim Hafez (Lierse – Belgian)

Midfielders: Hossam Ghaly, Mahmoud " Trezeguet" Hassan (Ahly), Ahmed Tawfik, Ibrahim Salah, Ayman Hefny, Mostafa Fathi (Zamalek), Salah Ashour, Mahmoud Kawod (ENPPI), Mohamed Salem (Arab Contractors)

Strikers: Bassem Morsi (Zamalek), Mahmoud "Kahraba" Abdel-Moneim (Ahly) and Dodo El-Gabbas (Wadi Degla)

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