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Egypt's coach hopes qualifier not played behind closed doors.

Summary: CAIRO - Diaa el-Sayyed, the general coach of Egypt's senior football team, said he hoped the Interior Ministry would change its mind about the national team's match against Mozambique on June 1 in Borg al-Arab Stadium behind closed doors, Egypt's official Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported. The match will be the first game of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

By Tamer Mohamed - The Egyptian Gazette

"Playing the Mozambique match behind closed doors would be quite difficult. The presence of the fans makes a big difference," el-Sayyed said and pointed out that technical coach Bob Bradley was fully aware of the current situation in Egypt.

The senior Egyptian team will start their 2014 World Cup qualifiers in June 1 by hosting Mozambique.

A week later, they will play their second game in the group against Guinea on June 8 away from home, before facing Central Africa in the ACN qualifiers mid-June.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced that the security authorities had decided the match against Mozambique on June 1 in Borg al-Arab Stadium had to be played behind closed doors.

The Pharaohs have been drawn in Group G of the World Cup qualifiers, alongside Guinea, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

According to el-Sayyed, the team started its training on Thursday in a preparation camp at the PetroSports Stadium. The camp will last until May 9; then the team will travel to Lebanon for playing a friendly with the national team on May 11 in Beirut.

The camp includes 18 players, but without Ahly, Zamalek and Enppi players. The participants are Essam el-Hadari, Ahmed el-Shenawi, Ahmed Said Okka, Mahmoud Alaa, Saad Samir, Basem Ali, Ahmed Hegazi, Islam Ramadan, Ali Fathy, Hossam Hassan, Mohamed el-Nini, Mohamed Salah, Marwan Mohsen, Ahmad Dowdier, Ashour el-Taqi, Ahmed Hassan Mekki, Ahmed Temsah and Ahmed Khairy.

According to a previous list, Bradley engaged only eight international players, the rest are from the Olympic national team.

The Pharaohs held a preparation camp in Dubai from April 10 to 18, during which they played three friendlies with Nigeria, Mauritania and Iraq.

El-Sayyed explained that the unusual conditions in the country after the Port Said tragedy, which led to the cancellation of the Premier League, forced the coaching staff to hold preparation camps and play friendlies in Qatar, Sudan and the UAE.

Earlier in April, the senior Egyptian team ended a four-day preparation camp in Sudan, during which they played two friendlies with Uganda and Chad.

The Pharaohs stunned Chad 4-0, thanks to a goal by Mohamed Salah in the 30th minute, a powerful Ahmed Khairy header in the 44th minute and a strike by Ahmed Hassan Mekki on 90 minutes. Chad defender Hassan Hussein also helped the Egyptian cause with an own goal in the 88th minute.

Prior to this, the Pharaohs defeated Uganda 2-1, thanks to goals by Olympic player Mohamed Salah and Al-Ahly playmaker Abou-Treika.

El-Sayyed announced that the Pharaohs would start a training camp in Morocco on May 15 as part of the team's preparation for the 2013 ACN qualifiers and the 2014 World Cup qualifiers in June.

"During the Morocco camp, the team will play two friendlies against Togo and Cameroon. The third game has not been decided yet, since the CE[sup.3]te d'Ivoire team rejected playing with us in Morocco. They want to play in France, so we are still looking for a replacement," the ex-Ahly star said in televised comments.

The General Coach explained that the Morocco camp would be the last preparation camp before facing Mozambique on June 1.

After finishing the Pharaohs' Dubai training camp, Bob Bradley, the technical coach of Egypt's senior football team, said he was satisfied with his team's performance, stressing that building a new team didn't exclude big, experienced players.

"All teams in the world need experienced players besides young ones, they all play a vital role," he told Modern Koora TV last week and explained that the Pharaohs could not afford to field more than three experienced players in any game.

"No team can play without experienced players," Bradley said, and added that the likes of veterans Ahmed Hassan, Wael Gomaa, Mohamed Abou-Treika and Essam el-Hadari played a vital role in difficult games.

"Abou-Treika is well-motivated and a great example to all players," the 53-year-old former US coach pointed out, revealing that he settled on 16 players who would constitute the major element of the Pharaohs during their 2013 ACN qualifiers and 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

Bradley stressed that the team benefited from the last two training camps, establishing harmony between old and new players.

El-Sayyed agreed with Bradley that they learned a tremendous amount in the United Arab Emirates preparation camp, stressing that the coaching staff was putting the basic line-up together.

"One of the most important achievements is the synchronisation between Emad Mete'ab and Mohamed Naggui 'Geddo'. The squad will include four Olympic national team players Ahmed Hegazi, Ahmed Shenawi, Mohamed Salah and Mohamed el-Nini," el-Sayyed added in televised comments after the Iraq friendly.

The Pharaohs ended their training camp in the UAE with a goal-less draw against Iraq.

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Publication:The Egyptian Gazette (Cairo, Egypt)
Geographic Code:6MOZA
Date:May 5, 2012
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