Egypt under-20 team coach Mahmoud Gaber has called up four foreign players to bolster his squad ahead of next month’s Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations. the punch reports.
The AFCON Under-20 2023 tournament will be played in Egypt between February 19 and March 11 and the top four teams will qualify for the Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia in May.
Drawn alongside Senegal, Nigeria and Mozambique in Group A, the young pharaohs are bidding to lift their first continental title since 2013.
Gaber signed FC Vizela goalkeeper Ahmed Nader El-Sayed, Udinese striker Salah Basha, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Mostafa Ashraf and Hoffenheim defender Tebo Gabriel to the team.
Our correspondent also learned that Hamburg playmaker Omar Magueed has withdrawn from the squad due to injury.
Meanwhile, the Soaring Eagles shouldn’t expect any favors next month, especially from U-20 AFCON host Egypt, who seem desperate to qualify for the U-20 World Cup in Indonesia.
Egypt has allegedly rigged the AFCON Under-20 opening day matches as it plans to overcome a tough first-round group featuring Nigeria, Senegal and Mozambique.
Host Egypt was seeded to top Pool A as A1 and according to the standard, A1 will take on A3, which is this case Senegal, while A2 Mozambique will take on A4 Nigeria on opening day on February 19.
But the current matches in Group A show that Egypt will open the tournament with Mozambique, the weakest team in their group on paper.
Therefore, the Flying Eagles will have to face their West African rivals Senegal on opening day, three hours after the host country has played.
The top two teams from each of the three groups will qualify for the quarterfinals, with another two best losers from these groups.
The four semifinalists will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia in May.