Egypt's players celebrate after defeating Zimbabwe in their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match at Borg El Arab "Army Stadium" March 26, 2013.(Photo: Reuters )
The Egyptian national team will face Bosnia in a friendly game next month without a number of Zamalek players, who will be busy with their team's African Champions League commitment.
On Friday, Egyptian Football Association (EFA) spokesman Azmy Megahed said that a sudden change of Champions League fixtures makes it difficult for Egypt’s new boss Shawky Gharib to call up Ahly and Zamalek players for the Bosnia tie, which will take place on 5 March.
The last 16, first-leg matches were due to take place on 17, 18 and 19 March but were suddenly brought forward by African governing body CAF to 7, 8 and 9 March, a few days after Egypt take on Bosnia in Austria.
According to Ahram Sport, Gharib has agreed in a meeting with EFA officials on Saturday to allow Zamalek players to remain with their club, as he believes the priority should be with official commitments.
Zamalek eased into the last 32 of the African Champions League after claiming a 1-0 win away to Niger's AS Douanes to complete a 3-0 aggregate victory last Sunday.
The Cairo giants, who won the last of their five Champions League titles in 2002, will face Angola's Kabuscorp for a last-16 place. The first leg will be in Cairo on 1 March, while the return one will be in Angola on 7 March.
The Bosnia friendly will mark the Egypt debut of Gharib, who took over at the Pharaohs following the departure of American boss Bob Bradley after the team failed to reach this year’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
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