Cuper's Egypt to finally start preparations for Tanzania match

Eslam Omar , Wednesday 3 Jun 2015

Under the helms of Argentinean coach Hector Cuper, the national team is kicking-off preparations for first official event in months

Hector Cuper
Hector Cuper of Argentina, the head coach of Egypt's national soccer team (Photo: AP)

The Egyptian national team is starting a training camp amid preparations for the 2017 Afric Cup of Nations qualifiers.

"As many European-based players return to Egypt for summer vacation, Hector Cuper decided to start training for the Tanzania clash," the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) website stated Tuesday.

The Pharaohs will kick off their bid to reach the Gabon finals on 14 June against Tanzania. They have been drawn in Group G with Nigeria, Tanzania and Chad. The team is also supposed to play a friendly with Malawi before the Tanzania clash without their Ahly and Zamalek players who have continental commitments with their clubs.

The home match is expected to be held behind closed doors -- as with all Egyptian football games in recent months -- due to successive violent incidents between fans and police.

Some players joined the camp Tuesday, including Mohamed Abdel-Shafy (Saudi's Ahly), Ahmed Hegazy (Italy's Perugia), Rami Rabia (Portugal's Sporting Lisbon) and Karim Hafez (Belgium's Lierse).

They cancelled a training camp two weeks ago after security troubles forced the cancelation of the Burundi friendly.

The team has been out of action since November when they failed to qualify for the 2015 African Cup of Nations, under former coach Shawky Gharib. They have only played a friendly game in March, weeks after Cuper’s appointment, defeating Equatorial Guinea 2-0.

Cuper's first test will be returning the national team to African supremacy 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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