Egypt FA drops ball on friendly, will face Senegal U-23s instead
Egypt will play Senegal’s under-23 national team in Thursday’s friendly international, not the full Senegalese “A” team as the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) had previously announced.
It is the latest in a series of blunders by the EFA, who failed to secure a friendly match during the first half of the October FIFA international match window against a national “A” team despite months to prepare.
The current EFA administration has also developed a habit of giving inaccurate information to the media.
As of late Tuesday, EFA board members were still publicly claiming the match would be against the full Senegalese national team.
Evidence, however, points the contrary.
KingFut has learned that the coach present in Dubai for the scheduled friendly is that of Senegal’s under 23 national team, Serigne Saliou Dia.
Senegal’s squad list for the match includes 11 uncapped players and 12 players from Senegal’s gold medal-winning youth side that won the All-Africa Games in September.
In addition, Senegal is scheduled to play a friendly international away to Algeria on October 13. The problem with this is that world football governing body FIFA has a policy of not allowing the same group of players for any one national team to play two different matches on two different continents during the same international break.
KingFut has learned that members of Senegal’s “A” national team have already arrived for the friendly in Algeria, with the rest of the contingent – including Senegal’s FA president – arriving on Wednesday. That alone would strongly suggest that it has no plans to field its senior national side in the Dubai friendly against Egypt.
In another example of the FIFA rule explained above, in 2014 the governing body forced Iran to cancel a November 12 friendly against Zimbabwe because the latter already scheduled a friendly against Morocco on November 16 of the same year.
This means that not only will Egypt field it’s “A” team in a friendly against a youth squad during a formal FIFA international match break, but that the match will not even count.
As a result, Egypt would not earn any credit for a positive result, which would adversely affect its FIFA World Ranking and might even prevent it from being a seeded team should it progress to the group stage of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, conceivably making its qualifying campaign more difficult.
The Pharaohs are also scheduled to play Zambia in a friendly on October 11.
Egypt kicks-off its World Cup qualifying campaign next month against the winner of a playoff between Sierra Leone and Chad.
These developments are only the latest in a growing list of logistical failures and misinformation from the current EFA administration.
The EFA previously claimed friendly matches against South Korea and Australia, among others, only for the agreements to fall through – and in some cases – to never have been in place at all.
It also claimed to have been negotiating with various managers for the then-vacant national team post, the most high-profile of which being former Ivory Coast and Zambia manager Hervé Renard. Renard, however, denied that the EFA had even contacted him.
With the national team earning positive results early in the untested tenure of manager Héctor Cúper, the EFA is unlikely to face any significant public backlash.
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