Mohamed Salah and Riyad Mahrez set for friendly clash during Egypt training camp in Al Ain

African giants to train in Garden City from October 9-17, with friendlies against Algeria and Zambia planned

Mohamed Salah of Egypt during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Africa qualifiers. EPA
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The Egypt national team will play a friendly against Algeria in Al Ain next month, offering UAE football fans the chance to potentially see in action Mohamed Salah and Riyad Mahrez.

The Abu Dhabi Sports Council confirmed on Wednesday that Egypt will hold a training camp in the Garden City from October 9-17. The get-together includes two friendlies at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, against Zambia on October 12 and Algeria four days later.

The matches form part of Egypt’s preparations for both the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, which begin in November, and January’s 2024 Africa Cup of Nations. The latter takes place in Ivory Coast.

Aref Hamad Al Awani, secretary general of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said on Wednesday: “We welcome the great Egyptian team, its stars, and its technical and administrative staff, as well as the Board of Directors of the [Egypt] Football Association.

“We will be waiting for the Egyptian fans at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in the matches against Zambia and Algeria, and we confirm our readiness to host according to the highest levels of excellence.”

Part of a collaboration between the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Egypt’s United Sports Company, the training camp is said to solidify the already strong relations between the UAE and Egypt.

Abu Dhabi has hosted the Egyptian Super Cup in recent years, including the past two. In May, Al Ahly and Pyramids contested the cup at the Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Gamal Allam, president of the Egyptian Football Association, said: “The Emirates is a sister country to Egypt and has shown great support for the Egyptian national team. Hence, we will also be among our brothers and loved ones in light of the historical relations that exist between both countries.”

Egypt kick off their 2026 World Cup qualification campaign in November in a double-header against Djibouti and Sierra Leone. Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau and Ethiopia make up the rest of Group A.

Updated: September 21, 2023, 3:47 AM