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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Salah returns for Egypt to face Kenya, Comoros in Afcon qualifiers

10:16 PM GMT+8 28/10/2019
Mohamed Salah Egypt 2019
The Liverpool star has not featured for Egypt since the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament on home soil

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has returned to the Egypt squad to face Kenya and Comoros in next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.

The Pharaohs host Kenya in their Group G opening match on November 15, before meeting Comoros away four days later.

Headlining new Egypt coach Hossam El-Badry’s 32-man preliminary squad is the inclusion of Salah who missed the international friendly match against Botswana earlier this month due to injury.

Salah is one of the six foreign-based players who have been selected by El-Badry.

Aston Villa midfielder Mahmoud Trezeguet, Sporting Braga forward Ahmed Kouka Hassan, West Bromwich Albion defender Ahmed Hegazi and Besiktas’ Mohamed Elneny are some of the players based outside of Egypt in the squad.

Ex-Zamalek winger Mahmoud Kahraba of Portuguese side CD Aves returns to the team for the first time since the 2018 Fifa World Cup.

Four players have been handed maiden call-ups including Zamalek winger Ahmed Sayed and Al Ahly left-back Mahmoud Wahid.

Salah comes back at a time when the national team captaincy has been a contentious issue as El-Badry was rumoured to be on the verge of breaking tradition by handing the armband to the Liverpool man who is not the most senior member of the squad.

But the coach said he will stick with custom, suggesting Al Ahly veteran right-back Ahmed Fathi will be the skipper.

"The decision of allocating the armband is the responsibility of the head coach, and giving it to the most senior player has been one of the traditions of Egyptian football for many years, unlike in other places in the world," El-Badry told ON Sport TV channel as per Al Ahram.

"Deciding on the team’s structure, including the choice of skipper was among the priorities I faced when I took charge."

Fathi who turns 35 next month is capped 130 times with Egypt and has won three Afcon titles. 

Egypt squad:

Goalkeepers: Mohamed El-Shenawy (Ahly), Mohamed Awad (Zamalek), Mohamed Bassam (Talae El-Geish)

Defenders: Ahmed Fathi, Mohamed Hany, Mahmoud Wahid, Ramy Rabia, Ayman Ashraf (all Al Ahly), Ragab Bakkar, Mohamed Hamdi (both Pyramids), Abdallah Gomaa, Mahmoud Alaa (Zamalek), Baher El-Mohammadi (Ismaily), Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion)

Midfielders: Amr El-Sulaya, Hamdi Fathi, Magdi Afsha, Hussein El-Shahat (all Al Ahly), Tarek Hamed, Ahmed Sayed (Zamalek), Omar Gaber, Abdallah El-Said, Islam Eissa, Mohamed Farouk (Pyramids), Mohamed Elneny (Besiktas), Mahmoud Trezeguet (Aston Villa), Mahmoud Kahraba (CD Aves)

Strikers: Marwan Hamdi (Wadi Degla), Ahmed Gomaa (Al Masry), Hossam Hassan (Smouha), Ahmed Kouka (Sporting Braga), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool).