Egypt walk the U20 Africa Cup of Nations tightrope after forfeiting points to Libya

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The Young Pharaohs must now defeat Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco to stand a chance of qualifying for Mauritania 2021

Egypt are in danger of missing out of the 2021 U20 Africa Cup of Nations after losing their first game to Libya without even kicking a ball.

The Young Pharaoh needed 11 starters and four substitutes to take part in their opener against the Junior Mediterranean Knights, however, they fell a man short owing to their recent positive coronavirus cases.

As a result of this, coach Rabie Yassin’s boys forfeited maximum points to the Libyans despite their presence at the match venue.

17 members of the Egyptian U20 team had returned positive Covid-19 tests a day before their first game in the 2021 U20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers versus Libya in Tunisia.

Nevertheless, the Egyptian football body rejected the result and managed to secure another round of tests on Monday evening after meeting with the Tunisian football authorities.

 “The youth team manager Rabie Yassin, called for an immediate swab on all members of the mission in Tunisia,” a statement from Efa read.

“The Egyptian team, born in 2001, conducted a medical examination for the mission in Tunisia after the results showed that 17 players, in addition to the technical director Rabie Yassin, were infected with the Coronavirus.

“The Egyptian Federation demanded from the North African Union to conduct a swab in another accredited laboratory, and a meeting is now taking place between the Medical Committee of the North African Union and the Egyptian national team doctor Walid Mazhar to study the matter.

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However, a tweet by EFA on Tuesday morning announced that the second test had Muhammad Ashraf, Muhammad Shehata and Mahmoud Saber Abdel Moneim return negative

“The results of the second swab performed on the youth team proved that the result of the smear of three players turned negative, namely Muhammad Ashraf, Muhammad Shehata and Mahmoud Saber Abdel Moneim. This morning, the test of Mr. Attia and Mahmoud Abdel Mohsen is repeated and also confirmed the positive sample of Rabie Yassin, technical director of the Young Pharaohs.”

Assuming the match result stands, Egypt must now defeat Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco to ensure their qualification for the 2021 Africa U20 Cup of Nations billed for Mauritania. There, Africa’s four representatives for the Fifa World Cup would be determined.

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