Mohamed Salah of Egypt (C) and Ahmed Fathi (L) in action against Andre Ayew of Ghana
Wednesday Jan 04, 2017. 09:26
Egypt assistant coach Osama Nabih has explained that Zamalek striker Bassem Morsy’s exclusion from their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations is due to tactical rather than disciplinary reasons.
Morsy has been a regular for Egypt under coach Hector Cuper, but he was surprisingly left out of their preliminary squad for the tournament in Gabon.
Some reports in Egypt have speculated that his exclusion is punishment for venting his frustration at being snubbed for the Pharaohs’ 2-0 win over Ghana in a 2018 World Cup qualifier, but Nabih insists this is not the case.
"Morsy's exclusion was only for technical reasons; it was not a punishment. We chose players who will fulfil our tactical needs. This doesn't mean that Morsy won't be with us again in the future," explained Nabih, as quoted by Ahram Online.
Egypt will begin their 2017 AFCON campaign with a match against Mali in Port-Gentil on January 17.