Egypt to kick off ACN qualifiers on 29 February

Mahmoud Mohamed, Friday 9 Dec 2011

Egypt to face Central African Republic on 29 February in their first African Cup of Nations qualifier

Egypt will be abscent in 2012 African Cup of Nations finals. (Photo: El Sayed Abdel-Kader)

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced Friday that the preliminary round of the 2013 African Cup of Nations (ACN) qualifiers will kick off on 29 February.

Egypt will visit Central African Republic in the first leg on 29 February while the return leg will be played in Egypt on 16 June.

 “CAF chose that day (29 February) to meet the teams’ requests because they would be able to call up their foreign-based players,” Egyptian Football Association technical director Fathi Nosier told Reuters Arabic.

If Egypt overcome Central African Republic in the two-legged tie, they will meet one of the 2012 Nations Cup participants in another playoff that will determine who will qualify for the 2013 edition in South Africa.

The Pharaohs, the Nations Cup record winners with seven triumphs, stunningly failed to reach next year’s finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon after finishing at the bottom of a qualifying group that also included South Africa and minnows Niger and Sierra Leone.

Egypt slumped to a 2-0 defeat by five-time world champions Brazil in Qatar in the debut of American coach Bob Bradley last month.

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