By Beng Emmanuel

Sports writer,

The head coach of Egypt’s U-23 men’s football team Shawky Gharib says his target is to qualify Egypt for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games and also win the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations on home soil.

Egypt have featured in all previous two editions of the U-23 AFCON in 2011 and 2015 and are upbeat to clinch a maiden title this year.

The 60-year-old who was part of the quadrennial multi-sport event as a player in 1984 believes he can excel at the continental rendezvous as a head coach.

Shawky Gharib disclosed that the current Olympic Pharaoh’s squad is thr best ever in this age group who have regular play time in the domestic league.

“Our target is simply to qualify to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and then to win the title. We also want to have performances that will satisfy our supporters. Everyone is counting on the Olympic Pharaohs to deliver, especially after seeing the senior national team’s early exit from the 2019 AFCON last summer, also in Egypt” Shawky Gharib told CAF Online.

All the teams that have reached the finals are strong and deserve to be here. I’ve followed our opponents in the qualifications; Mali vs Morocco, Ghana vs Algeria and Cameroon vs Tunisia. They are all strong teams and we respect them. We will take one match at a time and our target will always remain to win all our games” he added.

Egypt face Mali and debutants Cameroon and Ghana in group A-a relatively comfortable group for the host.

They face Mali in the opening game on November 8,2019 at 19:00 at the Cairo International Stadium.

The U-23 Africa Cup of Nations will run from the 8-22,2019.

This year’s tournament serves as qualification for the Tokyo Olympic games next year.



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