10 August 2017

Africa: Egypt Make CHAN Debut Against Morocco

Egypt makes a debut in the history of the African Nations Championship (CHAN), when they entertain Morocco in a North Zone first leg clash on Sunday, 13 August 2017, in Alexandria.

The Pharaohs have never taken part in the qualifiers of the tournament designed exclusively for footballers who play in their domestic leagues, since its inception in 2009. This is despite the fact that the core of the Egyptian national team has been locally-based players.

This term, the Pharaohs are making their debut in the qualifiers, and will be hoping to overcome rivals Morocco in their quest for a first ever participation at next year's finals, scheduled from 12 January to 4 February in Kenya.

But the journey for the Pharaohs is no rosy. Big guns Al Ahly and Zamalek have refused to release their players for the two-legged match against Morocco, with other clubs following suit, a situation which forced iconic ex-captain Hany Ramzy to reign as Head Coach.

Following the unexpected exit of Ramzy, a legendary figure at German club, Kaiserslautern and capped over 120 times at the national level, U-20 coach Hamada Sedki has been drafted in temporarily for the two games against Morocco.

Sedki has been faced the same old problem with matters worsened with the withdrawal of players by Port Said based El Masry, who face Ahly in the Egyptian Cup final on Tuesday, 15 August 2017 in Alexandria.

One of the assistants of the legendary coach Hassan Shehata, when Egypt won a treble of Africa Cup of Nations titles (2006, 2008, 2010), Sedki remains upbeat about his side's chances in this weekend's clash against Morocco.

"We have to do our work whatever the obstacles are. It's never going to be easy, but we will play to the last hoping to record a good result," Sedki told the media during the week.

The return leg will take place on Friday, 18 August 2017 in Rabat, with the Atlas Lions hoping for a third successive appearance at the final tournament after 2014 (South Africa) and 2016 (Rwanda).

Fixtures

Central Zone

11.08.2017 Brazzaville Congo vs DR Congo

12.08.2017 Malabo Equatorial Guinea vs Gabon

12.08.2017 Sao Tome Sao Tome vs Cameroon

Central-East Zone

12.08.2017 Kampala Uganda vs Rwanda

13.08.2017 Hawassa Ethiopia vs Sudan

North Zone

12.08.2017 Constantine Algeria vs Libya

13.08.2017 Alexandria Egypt vs Morocco

South Zone

12.08.2017 East London South Africa vs Zambia

13.08.2017 Antananarivo Madagascar vs Angola

13.08.2017 Moroni Comoros vs Namibia

West A Zone

12.08.2017 Nouakchott Mauritania vs Mali

15.08.2017 Pikine Senegal vs Guinea

West B Zone

12.08.2017 Ouagadougou Burkina Faso vs Ghana

13.08.2017 Cotonou Benin vs Nigeria

13.08.2017 Niamey Niger vs Cote d'Ivoire

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