Egypt in strife

HARARE - Egypt national team coach Bob Bradley wants to beef up his squad for this month’s 2014 World Cup qualifiers from 23 players to 25 amid discord in the team over selection.

 The American coach has expressed he is worried about possible injuries on his squad ahead of this weekend match against Zimbabwe at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.

 The record seven-time Africa champions, who won successive Afcon titles in 2006, 2008 and 2010, will play Botswana in a friendly in Cairo today, before travelling to Zimbabwe tomorrow.

 The Pharaohs currently lead Group G of the African qualifiers, five points clear of second-placed Guinea, while Mozambique lie third with two points, one ahead of bottom side Zimbabwe.

 Bidding for their first ticket in their most prestigious tournament since 1990, Egypt will face the Warriors this weekend before travelling to Maputo to face Mozambique on June 16.

 Bradley also expressed concern over the comments made last week by a number of senior Pharaohs players excluded for the two matches.

 "I am depressed by the comments of some players who were left out of the squad," Bradley told a television programme in Cairo at the weekend.

 "I ask them to stop criticising the team and call on them to back the new faces in the squad to reach our target of qualifying for the World Cup.

 "I demand the young players do their best and work hard to book a regular place in the squad."

 The 55-year-old American recently announced his preliminarily squad for a closed training camp in El-Defaa El-Gawi stadium to prepare for the upcoming qualifiers.

 But Ahly winger Walid Soliman hit out at Bradley for declining to name him in the team's provisional squad for the two matches.

 Soliman has been one of Ahly's most impressive performers since recovering from a knee injury last month and felt aggrieved by the snub from the American.

 "Bradley has favoured certain players when naming the squad, which included players who have not been playing regularly with their teams lately," Soliman was quoted as saying by the Ahrams Arabic sports website.

 "Joining the national team now only depends on the personal relationships [between Bradley and the players]."

EGYPT SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed, Ahmed El-Shennawy (Zamalek) and Sherif Ekrami (Ahly)

Defenders: Ahmed Fathi, Wael Gomaa, Ahmed Shedid Qenawi, Saad Samir (Ahly), Mahmoud Fathallah, Mohamed Abdel-Shafi, Omar Gaber (Zamalek), Ahmed Elmohamady, Ali Ghazal (C.D. Nacional), (Sunderland) and Ahmed Hegazy (Fiorentina).

Midfielders: Hossam Ashour, Abdullah El-Said, Mohamed Abou-Treika (Ahly), Ibrahim Salah, Hazem Emam, Ahmed Eid Abdel-Malek, Mohamed Ibrahim, Nour El-Said (Zamalek), Amr Soulaya (Ismaily), Tareq Hamed, Ahmed Hamoudy (Smouha), Ayman Hefny (El-Geish), Mohamed El-Nenny (Basel FC)

Strikers: Ahmed Hassan Mekky (Haras El-Hodoud), Ahmed Gafar (Zamalek), Mohamed salah (Basel) and Ahmed Temsah (Dhofar). - Sports Writer

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