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Surprise Egypt recall for retired Shikabala

Shikabala announced his retirement from professional football but he was still included in Egypt's squad for a friendly tournament

Hatem Maher, Saturday 1 Jan 2011
Shikabala
Shikabala said he won't play for Egypt
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Mahmoud Abdel-Razek 'Shikabala' has been included in Egypt's home-based squad for the Nile Basin friendly tournament despite announcing his retirement from international football.

Zamalek football director Ibrahim Hassan said on Friday that Shikabala was quitting international football in protest at the 'racist insults' Ahly fans hurled at him during the Cairo derby one day earlier.

Reports also said that Egypt coach Hassan Shehata would not call him up anyway but the Pharaohs' 25-man squad for the Nile Basin tournament included the temperamental player.

Smouha's in-form striker Ahmed Belal also made the squad for the first time in more than five years.

The 30-year-old frontman, who was part of Egypt's squad in the 2004 African Cup of Nations, has scored five league goals for the promoted club so far this season.

Ismaily midfielder Hosni Abd-Rabou returned to the squad after recovering from a serious knee injury and there was also room for Ahly's Hossam Ghaly, who produced a superb performance while playing as a sweeper in the goalless draw against Zamalek.

Egypt will play in Group A which also includes Tanzania, Burundi and Kenya. Group B features Sudan, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Cairo will host the competition from 5-17 January during a winter break for the Egyptian Premier League.

Egypt squad:

Goalkeepers: Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed (Zamalek), Mohamed Sobhy (Ismaily), Amir Abdel-Hamid (Masry)

Defenders: Wael Gomaa, Ahmed Fathy (Ahly), Mahmoud Fathallah, Mohamed Abdel-Shafy (Zamalek), Abdullah Shahat, Ahmed Samir Farag (Ismaily), Mohamed Naguib (Ittihad El-Shorta), Sherif Hazem (Petrojet)

Midfielders: Hossam Ghaly, Mohamed Abou-Treika (Ahly), Ibrahim Salah, Shikabala (Zamalek) Hosni Abd-Rabou, Amr El-Sulaya, Abdullah Saied (Ismaily), Ahmed Eid (Harras El-Hodoud), Walid Soliman (ENPPI), Ayman Hefni (MCDR)

Strikers: Mohamed Nagy 'Gedo' (Ahly), Ahmed Belal (Smouha), Ahmed Aly (Ismaily), El-Sayed Hamdy (Petrojet)

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