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Afcon: Egypt team director explains Mohamed Salah absence

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Ihab Leheta revealed the Pharaohs talisman has been missing from the hosts’ pre-Afcon training camp because he has been given an extended break

Egypt team director Ihab Leheta has revealed Mohamed Salah hasn’t joined up with the national team because he received an extended break after a long season with Liverpool.

Javier Aguirre’s side have been training in preparation for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, but the Reds forward has been noticeably absent.

Leheta has shed light on the time off granted to the team’s talisman, clarifying it’s due to the attacker’s exertions with Jurgen Klopp’s side in the just concluded campaign.

“The national team has eight players who play abroad, six of them finished their season in mid-May, so they managed to take enough rest before arriving at the camp,” Leheta began.

“On the other hand, Mohamed Elneny and Mohamed Salah have finished their seasons later, as they had Europa League and Uefa Champions League finals to play; therefore, they had to take some rest.

“Elneny has just arrived to the training camp and he has been undergoing additional exercises to raise his fitness level and Salah has agreed with the technical staff for an additional rest before featuring in the camp in the next few hours.”

The pair of Salah and Elneny are the pick of the bunch of Aguirre’s 23-man squad for the Afcon finals.

Having lost against Cameroon two years ago in Gabon, the Pharaohs will seek to go one better this time around by claiming the crown on home soil.

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Aguirre’s side will intensify preparations for the continental showpiece with friendlies against Tanzania and Guinea on June 13 and June 16, respectively.

The host nation begin their search for an eighth African title against Zimbabwe on June 21, before games against DR Congo and Uganda follow on June 26 and June 30, respectively.

 

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