Amr Warda reinstated in Egypt squad due to support from Mohamed Salah and teammates

Forward had been expelled from squad over allegations of sexual harassment but that has now been overturned by Egyptian Football Association

Egypt's Amr Warda has been reinstated in his country's squad at the African Cup of Nations. Reuters
Egypt's Amr Warda has been reinstated in his country's squad at the African Cup of Nations. Reuters

Amr Warda will be allowed to rejoin Egypt's squad after the African Cup of Nations group stages has been completed, the country's football association the EFA has announced.

The 25-year-old PAOK Salonika forward was dismissed from the camp for disciplinary reasons on Wednesday but is to return after his teammates, led by Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, discussed the matter with EFA and government representatives.

An EFA statement on Friday read: "Minister of Youth and Sports Dr Ashraf Subhi held a friendly session with the players of the national team and their technical staff at the residence of the team yesterday evening in the presence of Hani Abu Reda, president of the Football Association.

"During the meeting, Hani Abu Reda praised the spirit of solidarity between the players and their desire to pardon their colleague Amr Warda and to lift the suspension from him, and their commitment to any decision issued by the Football Association in this regard.

"He decided to reduce the period of suspension, until the end of the first round of the tournament only.

"Abu Reda assured the players of his demand and the demand of all of them to continue this solidarity between them and reflect it in their performances on the pitch to delight their fans and the people of Egypt."

Salah had jumped to the defence of Warda after his punishment had first been announced.

"We need to believe in second chances," he had tweeted. "We need to guide and educate. Shunning is not the answer."

He also wrote: "I also believe that many who make mistakes can change for the better and should not be sent straight to the guillotine, which is the easiest way out."

Warda won his 29th cap as a substitute in the host nation's opening game against Zimbabwe but missed Wednesday's win over DR Congo.

Egypt are assured of qualification from Group A ahead of Sunday's clash with Uganda, where a draw would be enough to clinch top spot.

Published: June 28, 2019 09:55 PM

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