Egypt U23 Coach Shawky Gharib (Reuters)
Egypt's U-23 coach Shawky Gharib made no secret of his desire to call up Liverpool star Mohamed Salah as one of the team's three over-age players at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Egypt reached the Olympic Games after winning the U23 Nations Cup on home soil in November last year.
The U-23 team started on Tuesday morning a training camp that will see the team face South Korea and Brazil on 12 and 17 November respectively.
"The team's technical staff and the Egyptian Football Association have the desire to call up Mohamed Salah for the Olympics," Gharib told a news conference on Tuesday.
"Salah is a world class player and I hope that he will be able to play with us in the Olympics. When you have such a player in your team, the objectives of the team would be different.
"Brazil won the gold medal in Rio De Janeiro thanks to Neymar who led the Brazilian team in this competition," he added.
Salah was part of Egypt's squad on their previous Olympic Games participation in 2012, scoring three goals as the team qualified for the quarter-finals, where they lost 3-0 to Japan at the Old Trafford in Manchester.
Gharib still acknowledged that Egypt's senior team should be given a priority in player selection as they gear up for a double header against Togo in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Egypt boss Hossam El-Badry named a preliminary squad that includes several U23 players, such as Pyramids winger Ramadan Sobhi and Ahly's Taher Mohamed.
"I met with El-Badry in October and we agreed that the priority in the current period is for Egypt's first team," Gharib added.
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