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Egypt to face Ethiopia in August friendly
Egypt and Ethiopia have agreed to play an international friendly late next month, according to Egyptian FA president Gamal Allam.
Allam said the teams were in the process of finalizing the agreement and that a formal announcement with full details was forthcoming, adding that the FA considered several opponents for a late August friendly before agreeing to face the Walias.
Algeria was among the teams considering a renewal of pleasantries with Egypt in that time frame. Allam didn’t comment on the status of those discussions, but it’s believed that FIFA’s cancelling of the official international match window in August caused those plans to fall through. The vast majority of the Fennecs ply their trade in Europe, complicating the logistics of including them in friendlies outside of official FIFA match dates.
The Pharaohs are preparing for 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, which kick-off in early September. They take on Senegal in Dakar on the 5th before returning home to face Tunisia on the 10th. Rounding out the group will likely be Botswana, who beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in the first leg of their preliminary tie. The second leg is slated for August 2.
The top two finishers in the group will qualify for next year’s finals in Morocco, along with the best third-placed finisher among the seven total qualifying groups.
Egypt manager Shawky Gharib is expected to announce his squad for the matches on August 20 before the team convenes for a training camp on August 25 in Aswan.
Ethiopia is enjoying perhaps its best-ever spell of international football, having qualified for the previous edition of the tournament in South Africa before narrowly losing out on a place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.