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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Afcon 2021 Qualifiers: Egypt's suffering from the absence of Salah and co. - El-Badry

2:49 PM GMT 19/11/2019
Hossam El Badry
The seven-time African champions appeared to be a pale shadow of their former selves during the international week

Egypt coach Hossam El-Badry feels the absence of key players such as Liverpool star Mohamed Salah led to their underwhelming recent results. 

The Pharaohs were held 0-0 by lowly-ranked Comoros in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier on Monday.

The draw away in Moroni was the second point for Egypt in Group G where they are now in third spot after also being frustrated in a 1-1 draw against Kenya at home four days earlier.

Monday's result sparked outrage in Egypt after the seven-time African champions, who are ranked 49 in the world, were held by a team placed 142 globally.

El-Badry moved in to defend their poor outing, placing blame on the absence of their injured key players.

The Pharaohs also missed SC Braga forward Ahmed Kouka, Al Ahly midfielder Hamdi Fathi and Al Masry's Ahmed Gomaa.

"We are facing tough circumstances in the latest period which caused this result. The national team are suffering from many tough situations, most notably the absence of a number of players," El Badry said, as published by Al Ahram.

Besiktas midfielder Mohamed Elneny was also absent, while Al Ahly winger Ramadan is on duty with the Under-23 national side.

Prior to the qualifiers, El-Badry was forced to drop seven players from Pyramids FC for disciplinary reasons, signalling a crisis in Egyptian football.

"Some people attack me without any ideas and say that everything was provided to the national team and that there are no problems, which is totally wrong. I didn't talk about it not to justify the poor performance," El Badry said.

He presides over an Egypt team that has struggled this year, starting with being ejected relatively early from their own Afcon hosting event following a Round of 16 exit in July. This cost former coach Javier Aguirre his job hours after the humiliation on home soil.

They were bundled out 1-0 by a South African side that had managed just one goal in the group stage before sneaking into the last eight at the expense of the Pharaohs.

Despite the bad patch the Egypt national team is experiencing, El-Badry remains confident they will qualify for the 2021 Afcon tournament.

"Egypt will be among the qualified teams to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in the end," he said.

El-Badry will now have nine months to fine-tune his side as the Afcon qualifiers will resume in August 2020.