Wednesday Nov 06, 2019. 11:00
Egypt coach Hossam El-Badry has dropped players from Pyramids FC from his squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers this month after the club refused to release them until 72 hours before a home clash with Kenya.
The club later changed their mind on the completion of their CAF Confederation Cup tie with Young Africans on Sunday, but by then El-Badry had lost patience and jettisoned defenders Ahmed Ayman Mansour, Omar Gaber, Ragab Bakkar and Mohamed Hamdi, midfielder Abdallah El Said and forwards Islam Eissa and Mohamed Farouk from his squad.
“Coach Hossam El Badry has decided to call up Ayman Ashraf of Ahly and Karim Tarek of Talae El-Gaish to the national team’s training camp at Borg El Arab after Pyramids FC apologised for not releasing their players on time like all the other clubs,” a statement by the Egypt Football Association said.
The EFA had halted the local Premier League to give El Badry and the national Under-23 coach maximum preparation time ahead of the Afcon qualifiers and the African Under-23 Cup of Nations that the country will host.
But Pyramids FC initially said they would stick to FIFA regulations, which said they only need release their players on Monday, November 11.
They later changed their mind, but the damage was done and El Badry has taken a tough stance.
His side will meet Liberia in an international friendly on Thursday with a side made up of locally-based players.
Egypt then play Kenya at the start of the qualifiers on November 14, before an away trip to Comoros four days later.