Egypt senior national team coach Hossam El-Badry has invited five foreign-based players for November’s 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Togo, with Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah the pick of the selections.
The Pharaohs who are seven-time African champions have made an unacceptable start in the race to Cameroon 2022, despite being zoned against Kenya, Togo and Comoros in Group G.
With consecutive draws against the Harambee Stars, and the Les Coelacantes, the North Africans are third in the log having accrued just two points.
In a bid to rescue their qualification campaign, however, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) had disclosed that foreign-based professionals will be included in El-Badry’s squad against the Hawks – who sit at the base of the group.
Salah leads the quintet that includes Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny, West Bromwich Albion’s Ahmed Hegazi, Aston Villa’s Mahmoud Trezeguet, and Ahmed Hassan Kouka who represents Greek elite division side, Olympiacos.
Right-back Ahmed Elmohamady was snubbed while Amr Warda remains frozen out of the squad following the controversy that surrounded him during the 2019 Afcon.
After featuring in Egypt’s opening day defeat of Zimbabwe, the midfielder was expelled from the team’s camp.
The Pharaohs host the first-leg in November with the reverse fixture at Lome's Stade de Kegue eight days later.
The 33rd edition of the biennial tournament was due to begin in Cameroon on January 9, 2021, but has now been pushed back to January 2022 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic across the continent.
After winning the competition between 2006 and 2010, the North Africans have struggled to impress in the tournament since then. Despite hosting the 2019 edition, they were kicked out in the Round of 16 by South Africa.
Thembinkosi Lorch’s 85th-minute strike saw them bow out at the Cairo International Stadium.