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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

UAE friendly against Mohamed Salah's Egypt in Abu Dhabi cancelled

Match originally slated for November 20 at Al Nahyan Stadium could be pushed back to March

Alberto Zaccheroni's UAE national team take on Bolivia in a friendly this Friday. UAE FA
Alberto Zaccheroni's UAE national team take on Bolivia in a friendly this Friday. UAE FA

The UAE’s marquee friendly against Egypt next week has been cancelled, the Egyptian Football Association have announced.

The match, set to take place at Abu Dhabi’s Al Nahyan Stadium on November 20, is said to have been moved to March, although the UAE Football Association has not yet received official confirmation that the game has been rescheduled.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) cited a number of reasons for the postponement, including the schedule being too tight given Egypt’s overseas players were to return to their clubs the day after the UAE friendly. The FA said the second leg of Al Ahly’s Arab Club Championship last-16 encounter against Al Wasl, slated for Dubai on November 22, was a contributing factor, too.

Egypt were to travel to the Emirates following this Friday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tunisia. The 2018 World Cup entrants, now managed by former Al Wahda manager Javier Aguirre, have already secured their spot in next year's tournament.

The postponement represents a setback for the UAE, who are preparing for the 2019 Asian Cup on home soil. The national team, currently on a two-week training camp in Dubai, take on Bolivia in a friendly on Friday as their build-up to the January 5-February 1 event continues. It will mark only the second time the UAE have hosted Asian football’s premier tournament.

The UAE are expected to play another international friendly next week, although as of yet their opponents have not been confirmed. The camp, the fourth of five before the Asian Cup, concludes on November 20.

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