Ahead of Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations opening game against Nigeria, the entire 26-man squad of the Pharaohs has tested negative for COVID-19.

The Africa Cup of Nations is currently taking place in Cameroon, as it’s scheduled to run between the ninth of January and the 6th of February.

The Pharaohs kick-off their journey to an eighth African title on Tuesday, the 11th of January, when they face Nigeria in the highlight of the AFCON day three.

Many expect the game to be tricky for both sides, especially as the winner of the tie will have a huge chance of finishing top of the group and avoid a difficult match-up in the round of 16.

Egypt will enter the game without any absences, with their 26-man squad and technical staff all testing negative for COVID-19 in the latest swab test, performed by the CAF ahead of the game.

However, the likes of Mohamed Abou-Gabal and Ibrahim Adel, who haven’t travelled to Cameroon yet after contracting COVID-19, still haven’t recovered alongside Egypt goalkeeping coach Essam El-Hadary.

Managerial staff members Mohamed Salah and Ali Mohamed Ali as well as performance analyst Gerard Moore and conditioning specialist Mostafa Sadek are yet to travel to Cameroon as well, having tested positive for the virus last Friday.

Tuesday’s game will mark the ninth clash between Egypt and Nigeria in the AFCON, with the Pharaohs coming on top three times, losing in three, and two ending in a draw.

Egypt had also opened their AFCON campaign against Nigeria twice before in 1963 and 2010, winning both games, 6-3 and 3-1 respectively.

Moreover, it will be Carlos Queiroz’s second-ever game against Nigeria, having coach Iran against the Super Eagles during the 2014 World Cup, which ended in a dull 0-0 draw.


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