The Egyptian national team technical staff have named a 30-man squad for a closed training camp starting 15 February.
“Bob Bradley [the American manager] and the rest of the technical staff insisted that we hold this camp despite the country's football suspension, to give opportunities to new faces ahead of the African Qualifiers,” assistant coach Dia’a El-Sayed told Ahram Online.
The holders of seven titles will start their 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Central Africa on 30 June, instead of 29 February, after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) delayed it due to Port Said tragedy.
At least 70 fans died and more than a thousand were injured in the clashes between supporters following an Ahly-Masry league game.
“The technical staff accepted the Ahly players' apology for not participating in the camp as they are still mourning their martyrs,” the former Egyptian under-20 coach, El-Sayed added.
“All players will have equal opportunities during the upcoming friendly games,” he concluded.
Egypt were supposed to host Botswana in a friendly game on 23 February but the match was cancelled upon the Southern African nation's request. The Pharaohs will face Kenya on 21 February.
Goalkeepers: Ahmed El-Shennawy (Masry), Essam El-Hadary (Ittihad of Alexandria), Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed (Zamalek), Emad El-Sayed (Tala El-Giesh)
Defenders: Ahmed Hegazy (Ismaily), Ahmed Dwidar (Ittihad El-Shorta), Ahmed Said ‘Oka’ (Haras El-Hodood), Moatasem Salem (Ismaily), Mahmoud Fathalla (Zamalek), Bassem Ali (Arab Contractors), Osama Ragab (ENPPI), Mohamed Nassef (ENPPI)
Midfielders: Foad Salama (Maqassa), Ahmed Hassan (Zamalek), Mohamed Abdel-Shafy (Zamalek), Mohamed El-Nenny (Arab Contractors), Mohamed Shaban (Petrojet), Ahmed Khairy (Ismaily), Amer Sabry (Wadi Degla), Ibrahim Salah (Zamalek), Mohamed Salah (Arab Contractors), Ahmed Temsah (Dakhleya), Mahmoud Abdel-Razek ‘Shikabala’ (Zamalek)
Forwards: Ahmed Eid Abdel-Malek (Haras El-Hodood), Ashour El-Taqy (Wadi Degla), Ahmed Raouf (Masry), Ahmed Abdel-Zaher (ENNPI), Ahmed Hassan Mekky (Haras El-Hodood), Salah Ashour (Ittihad El-Shorta), Ahmed Ali (Ismaily)
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter: @AO_Sports)