Egypt sends football fans to Gabon to support national squad

Egypt sends football fans to Gabon to support national squad
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Published February 4th, 2017 - 22:37 GMT via

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Pharaohs eye record eighth Cup of Nations title
Pharaohs eye record eighth Cup of Nations title

Egypt’s national carrier has said it will fly over 1,000 football fans to Gabon to support the national football team in the final match of the Africa Cup of Nations (ACN) slated for Sunday.

EgyptAir will operate four special flights on Sunday to transport the supporters, the airline’s head Safwat Mosallam has said.

“Coordination is under way with the ministries of tourism and youth to finalise procedures related to the entry visas and tickets for attending the match,” Mosallam added in media remarks.

Plans are also afoot with travel companies to arrange more such trips, he added without details.

Gabon has promised to offer “necessary facilities” for Egyptian fans, said Ahmad Abu Zeid, the spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry. The promise was made in a phone conversation on Thursday between Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri and his Gabonese counterpart Pacome Moublet-Boubeya, the official added.

“The two ministers have agreed to maintain contact in the coming few days to secure the arrival, stay and return of the Egyptian supporters,” Abu Zeid said.

Record seven-time champions Egypt will play Cameroon on Sunday in the ACN final. The Pharaohs are eager to win their eighth title of Africa’s key football tournament.

After winning a third consecutive title in 2010, Egypt failed to qualify for the last three editions of ACN. Egyptian football has felt the brunt of political upheaval that hit the country following the 2011 uprising.

Egypt’s veteran goalkeeper Essam Al Hadary takes much credit for his country’s strong performance in the current edition. The 44-year-old player has pulled off superb saves since he replaced the keeper Ahmad Al Shenawi who was injured in a January 17 clash with Mali in the same competition. Should Egypt lift the trophy on Sunday, it will be Al Hadary’s fifth ANC title. He is the oldest player in the history of the tournament.

By Ramadan Al Sherbini

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