Egypt picks team captain ahead of Kenya match
Egypt coach Hossam El-Badry has named veteran defender Ahmed Fathi, and not Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, as team captain ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations game against Kenya.
The Pharaohs will host Harambee Stars in Cairo on November 14 as the campaign for the 2021 edition of the biennial competition commences in earnest.
But preparations for this match have been overshadowed by media reports suggesting a ‘request’ by the Egypt FA for Fathi to relinquish the captaincy for poster boy Mo Salah had stirred up an egocentric battle.
“The decision of the armband is the responsibility of the manager. There are no problems between Salah and Fathi. In the end, we decided the armband will go to the oldest player,” said El Badry.
Last week, Fathi’s agent Ader Shawky told Kingfut the right back had been asked to leave the armband to Salah.
“Fathi was left surprised by this request and turned it down. I think he will not continue with the national team if captaincy was taken off him,” said Shawky.
While the Pharaohs are squabbling over who will be captain, Kenya has been hit by financial challenges with Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa announcing he doesn’t have the funds yet to prepare the team and fly it to Cairo.
That said, Stars coach Francis Kimanzi has selected 23 players, including Micheal Olunga, captain Victor Wanyama, Patrick Matasi and John Makwatta, for this assignment.