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Egypt risking World Cup hopes by playing Congo DR

gamal-allamEgypt’s recent decision to play a friendly against Congo DR could have dire consequences on its already tenuous grasp of a top seed in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

The Pharaohs already faced the prospect of having to win their final 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in Tanzania to keep their position in Pot A, where they would avoid the rest of Africa’s top-five ranked sides in World Cup qualifying.

Instead, Egypt has now created two must-win scenarios for itself… it must defeat Congo DR in their May 30 friendly and win on the road in Tanzania, instead of just the latter.

The idea behind Egypt’s Congo DR friendly is that it would make up for whatever negative point differential would be created if Tanzania fails to defeat Kenya in an upcoming friendly. An Egypt win over Tanzania won’t mean quite as much in the rankings if Tanzania loses or draws its friendly against Kenya.

However, if Egypt fails to beat Congo DR, all that would be moot, as even a win over Tanzania would no longer be enough to remain in Pot A provided Tunisia and both win their final AFCON qualifiers, against Djibouti and São Tomé respectively.

Meanwhile, Tunisia and Cape Verde – Egypt’s competition for a place in Pot A – now simply get to lie in wait. Without playing a single friendly despite currently trailing Egypt in the race for Pot A, they would no longer have to worry about Egypt’s result against Tanzania if the Pharaohs slip-up against Congo DR.



  1. Joe Khalil

    May 6, 2016 at 8:57 AM

    The friendly against congo is a preparation game to for Tanzania match. There is something to gain; prepare the players vs Tanzania lol

    Your article has no grounds just like the previous one on “scenarios” for Egypt without the mention of what happens if Egypt even lose to Tanzania.

  2. Habibi

    May 6, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    If egypt is affraid about to match against RD Congo and if egypt is not able to beat them, what is the point to go in WDC where we will be destroy and humiliated in front the world

  3. Hazem

    May 6, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    We have to play against them because if we don’t and Tanzania loses to Kenya and we beat Tanzania we would be in Pot 2. But if Play DR Congo and beat Tanzania vs Kenya Friendly would have no effect on us.

    • Hazem

      May 6, 2016 at 12:01 PM

      “Egypt should get rid of the friendly against Malawi and play instead Congo DR or Guinea. Congo already plays a friendly on May 30th against Morocco.
      Of course Egypt will have to win that friendly, but if they do their points total in the extra June ranking will always be higher than 643 points, no matter the outcome of the Kenya-Tanzania friendly.
      All based on the current schedule of matches. It could change again if Tunisia decides to play a friendly.” taken from

      • Hosam El-Aker

        May 6, 2016 at 8:03 PM

        Yes, it could help slightly, provided the combination of results go our way. In all scenarios, Egypt must now beat Congo DR and Tanzania.

  4. Nader

    May 6, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    I also read that a Tanzania Qualifier Win might be not enogh to stay above Tunisia (in Case Tanzania loses to Kenya in their Friendly). At the same time i guess a friendly win against CDR (which provides to us 379,95 points) no matter what will rise our Points Avg based on the past 12 months from 334 to 338, which will make the difference in a very tight race with Tunisia.

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