Huge blow for the Pharaohs as Liverpool striker is set to miss the opening two matches of their Afcon 2021 qualifiers
Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah has been ruled out of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations matches against Kenya and Comoros Islands.
The Pharaohs’ medical staff have confirmed the Liverpool FC star, who reported to camp on Sunday, will not take part in the two matches owing to injury.
Salah arrived in Cairo on Sunday and was eager to participate in the two Group G matches but his injury, according to Egypt’s Doctor Mohamed Abu-El Ela, needs time to heal.Editors’ Picks
“This is the same injury that caught him with Liverpool from the Leicester City match in the Premier League and it came back to him again,” confirmed Abu-El Ela.
Coach Hossam El-Badry had initially included Salah in his squad for the two matches.
The 59-year-old tactician also named a number of new faces such as Wadi Degla’s Marwan Hamdy, Al Ahly’s Mahmoud Wahid, Zamalek’s Ahmed Sayed Zizo and Pyramids FC forward Islam Issa.
Also, Al Ahly duo Mohamed Hany and Ramy Rabia returned to the squad. Ramy’s last appearance for Egypt was in November 2017 during their 1-1 draw against Ghana in a 2018 World Cup qualifying game in the city of Cape Coast in the West African country.
Kenya’s Harambee Stars have already arrived in Alexandria ready for the group opener with coach Francis Kimanzi promising to attack the Pharaohs away.
“I have asked my players to have the self-belief and take the game to Egypt,” Kimanzi told Goal on Monday.
“We don’t need to fear them but rather we need to play our game, defend well and also go for the goals that can win us the match.
“I don’t think Kenya are in a difficult group, all we need to do is play well and target positive results in our away matches. We have a good record back home, so it is not a problem.”
The Harambee Stars will also be seeking to make it to the Afcon finals for the second time in a row having graced the last edition held in Egypt, where they failed to get past the group stage.