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Egypt's senior team in Dubai camp Tuesday
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 08 - 04 - 2012

CAIRO - Egypt's senior football team, headed by America's Bob Bradley, will hold another training camp in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from April 10 to 18, during which they will play three friendlies against Nigeria, Angola and Iraq.
The purpose is for the Pharaohs to get ready for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers and the 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifiers next June.
Zaki Abdel-Fattah, the national team goalkeeping coach, explained that the three games will be against Nigeria on April 12; Angola on April 14; and Iraq on April 17.
Earlier this month, the Egyptian senior team ended a preparation camp in Sudan in which they played two friendlies against Uganda and Chad.
Bradley described that four-day camp as useful, adding that the Pharaohs are improving.
The Pharaohs stunned Chad 4-0, thanks to a goal from Mohamed Salah in the 30th minute, a powerful Ahmed Khairi 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 had defeated Uganda 2-1, thanks to goals from Olympic player Mohamed Salah and Al-Ahly playmaker Abou Treika.
"The three friendlies in the UAE will be a useful part of our training programme. We have played mid-level teams such as Uganda and Chad, and now we're going to play strong teams. This is a natural development," the former USA goalkeeping coach added.
The Pharaohs' coaching staff's main task is now to take Egypt to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil; that would be Egypt's third-ever appearance and their first in 24 years.
"I am trying to build a strong team, creating harmony between the new and experienced players," Bradley, 53, told reporters after the Sudan camp.
Egypt have been drawn in group G alongside Guinea, Zimbabwe and Mozambique for the World Cup qualifiers.
The Egyptian senior team will start the 2014 World Cup qualifiers by hosting Mozambique on June 2; they will then play their second game in the group against Guinea away from home on June 8, before facing Central Africa in the 2013 ACN qualifiers on June 17.
"We won't have any Olympic team players, as they are all travelling on Thursday to Costa Rica for a preparation camp there," Abdel-Fattah pointed out.
Samir Adli, the managing director of the national senior team, said that the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) had sent a formal letter to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), informing them that Egypt's senior football team will play their 2014 World Cup qualifiers and 2013 ACN qualifiers at Borg el-Arab Stadium.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) had punished Egypt by ordering them to play two games outside Cairo, after what happened when the Pharaohs met Algeria in a 2010 World Cup qualifier.
"We were planning to play the games at the Port Said Stadium, but the recent tragedy there, which claimed the lives of at least 74 Al-Ahly fans and injured more than 1,000, ruled that out," Adli added.

Nigeria's assistant coach: Egypt's friendly is a good chance

Sylvanus Okpala, Nigeria's assistant coach, said that the international friendly against Egypt in the UAE on April 12 will be a wonderful opportunity for the Super Eagles, as the Pharaohs are a great side, who have won a lot of African tournaments and trophies, Egypt's official Middle East News (MENA) reported.
"The friendly game against Egypt will be an important test for us, as it will restore the confidence of the Nigerian players," MENA quoted Okpala as telling Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper.
He added that Nigeria and Egypt, two of Africa's best teams, did not qualify for the 2012 ACN in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
"The Nigerian players are training hard in preparation for the game against the Pharaohs," Okpala stressed.


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