Veteran midfielder Ghaly snubbed by Egypt for disciplinary reasons: Reports

Hatem Maher , Tuesday 17 May 2016

Hossam Ghaly
Egypt's Hossam Ghaly (R) fights for the ball with Ferjani Sassi of Tunisia during their African Nations Cup qualifying soccer match in Cairo September 10, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

Ahly skipper Hossam Ghaly will not be selected in Egypt's squad for the final African Cup of Nations qualifier away to Tanzania for disciplinary reasons, according to local media reports.

Various reports said Egypt coach Hector Cuper was angry with the way Ghaly dealt with his teammates before their 1-0 home victory over Nigeria in their previous Nations Cup qualifier on 29 March, which put the Pharaohs within touching distance of a place at next year's Gabon finals.

According to Egyptian reports, Ghaly insulted some of his teammates in the training sessions that preceded the match, incurring the wrath of Argentinean boss Cuper who insisted that the Ahly skipper apologise if he is to earn a call-up to Egypt's squad for future games.

"I'm only focusing now on Ahly's league game against El-Entag El-Harby and [Friday's] friendly against AS Roma," the 34-year-old, who has made 74 appearances with Egypt since making his debut in 2002, told sports website FiGoal.

"I'm sure that [FIFA executive committee member] Hani Abou-Reida will take the necessary steps to preserve the unity of the team. Everything will be alright."

Abou-Reida is tasked by the Egyptian Football Association with supervising the national team but he is unlikely to resolve the matter in time for Ghaly to be included in the Pharaohs' squad for the 4 June clash against Tanzania.

A draw or even a defeat by a two-goal margin will see Egypt, who are on top of the group with seven points, reach the Nations Cup for the first time since 2010.

Tanzania lie second on a solitary point and their only hope is winning by more than a two-goal margin to gain the upper hand in the head-to-head record and then defeat Nigeria, having suffered a 3-0 defeat by Egypt in their opening qualifier in June last year.

The temperamental Ghaly is no stranger to controversy.

He was briefly stripped of Ahly's captaincy last year when he threw the skipper armband to the ground after being sent off in an Egyptian Premier League game.

He was vilified for a similar action while at English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in 2007 when he angrily threw the team's shirt to the ground after being substituted in a league game against Blackburn Rovers.

Ghaly, a skilful schemer who is constantly lauded for his astute passes and leadership skills, remains one of Ahly's key players as the club are on course to win their ninth league title in 10 seasons.

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