Egypt’s 'optimistic' coach Cuper cancels training camp

Eslam Omar , Tuesday 19 May 2015

After Burundi friendly game was canceled due to security concerns, Egypt boss Cuper postpones the Pharaohs’ reunion ahead of 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier

Hector Cuper
Hector Cuper of Argentina, right, the new head coach of Egypt's national soccer team speaks during a press conference at the soccer federation headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, March 10, 2015 (Photo: AP)

The Egyptian national team’s Argentinean coach Hector Cuper has announced that a closed training camp for the Pharaohs has been called off, after a Burundi friendly was cancelled due to security reasons.

"I understand the tough circumstances that prevented the friendly, in spite of not meeting the experienced players," Cuper told the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) website Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, the EFA announced the match’s cancelation, due to security concerns linked to ongoing political troubles in the southeast African country.

"I decided to cancel the training camp, as Egyptian teams are engaged with domestic games on 24 May," Cuper added.

The holders of seven Cup of Nations trophies, Egypt were supposed to hold a training camp and a friendly against Burundi, as they kick off their bid to reach the Gabon finals on 14 June against Tanzania.

"I am optimistic and I will have solutions to all possible problems. I may lecture players instead of training camps," said the coach.

Egypt have been drawn in Group G of the 2017 qualifiers along with Nigeria, Tanzania and Chad.

Some non-Ahly and Zamalek players had gathered in Cairo on Tuesday for the planned camp, but instead took part in a morning training session. They included  ENPPI's Salah Ashour, Mahmoud Qauod, Mahmoud Kahraba, Wadi Degla's Ragab Nabil, Mohamed El-Gabbas, Petrojet's Mohamed EL-Shennawy and Arab Contractor's Mohamed Salem.

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.

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