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Ahly, Zamalek players absent from Egypt squad for upcoming friendlies

Egypt will take on Chile and Jamaica minus its Ahly and Zamalek contingent

Egypt will take on Chile and Jamaica minus its Ahly and Zamalek contingent

Egypt announced a make-shift squad on Thursday for their upcoming friendly matches against Jamaica and Chile.

Manager Shawky Gharib named a 27-man team that won’t include its customary Ahly or Zamalek contingent. The Cairo giants are in the midst of continental title commitments, with Zamalek in the CAF Champions League and Ahly in the CAF Confederation Cup.

Gharib called-up veteran goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary for the second time in as many games. The 41-year-old shot-stopper had been absent from the national team fold after falling out with former manager Bob Bradley.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the inclusion of 31-year-old Tala’a El-Gaish striker , who was previously suspended for a making political gesture after scoring a goal in support of presidential candidate and army field marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Goalkeepers Mohamed El-Shennawy (Petrojet) and Mohamed Awad (Ismaily), defenders Ali Gaber (Ittihad Alexandria), Mahmoud Ezzat (Arab Contractors), and Hussein El-Sayed (Maqassa), and forwards Basem Morsi (El-Engag El-Harby) and Ahmed Sherwida (Ittihad Alexandria) all received their first national team call-ups.

The Pharaohs square-off against Chile in Santiago on May 30 before heading to London for a showdown with Jamaica on June 4. Egypt is preparing for its upcoming spate of 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, which kick-off in September. Chile, meanwhile, is preparing for this summer’s World Cup while Jamaica gets set for next year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

With no presence from Egypt’s two most-popular clubs, the squad’s most-represented club is Alexandria-based Smouha (four players) for the first time ever.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Essam El-Hadary (Wadi Degla), Ahmed El-Shennawy (Masry), Mohamed El-Shennawy (Petrojet), Mohamed Awad (Ismaily)

Defenders: Aly Ghazal (Nacional de Madera – Portugal), Ahmed Said (Smouha), Shawky Said (Ismaily), Ali Gaber (Ittihad Alexandria), Ahmed Dweidar (Ittihad El-Shorta), Mahmoud Ezzat (Arab Contractors), Ibrahim Abdel-Khaleq (Smouha), Ali Fathi (Arab Contractors), Hussein El-Sayed (Maqassa)

Midfielders: Mohamed El-Nenny (Basel – Switzerland), Hossam Ghaly (Lierse – Belgium), Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull City – England), Hosni Abd-Rabo (Ismaily), Saleh Gomaa (Nacional de Madera – Portugal), Tarek Hamed (Smouha), Mohamed Farouk (Arab Contractors), Ahmed Hamoudi (Smouha)

Forwards: Mohamed Salah (Chelsea – England), Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’ (Rio Ave – Portugal), Basem Morsi (El-Entag El-Harby), Khaled Kamar (Ittihad El-Shorta), Ahmed Sherwida (Ittihad of Alexandria), Salah Amin (Tala’a El-Gaish)

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