[dropcap type=”3″]T[/dropcap]he Men’s and Women’s football tournaments at the 2015 All Africa Games in Brazzaville will get underway this weekend, though the surprise withdrawal of Egypt last week means just seven teams will compete in each category.
The Egyptian FA announced last week that it would be withdrawing both its Men’s and Women’s teams due to a congested fixture list and poor preparation.
EFA board member Hamda Al Masry said: “The tournament will be in September and there are a lot of matches for Egyptian national teams. The senior team will play against Chad and they will call many of the Olympic team players.
“It is the same for the Egyptian teams Al Ahly and Zamalek.They will play the last match in the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup and are not ready to part with any of their players to leave.
“There will not be enough players to prepare, add to that the foreign-based players will not be able to attend so we decided not to participate.We now plan for the Under-23 African Championship that will be in Senegal.”
CAF reportedly offered the chance to Senegal and Burundi, the respective teams eliminated by Egypt in the Women’s and Men’s qualifiers, to take the Pharaohs’ place at the AAG, but they both declined due to the short notice.
This means that in both the Men’s and Women’s tournaments there will be one group with just three teams, while the unaffected group remains at four competitors.
The action gets underway on Sunday, 6 September, with the opening matches in the Women’s tournament seeing Tanzania tackle Cote d’Ivoire, while hosts Congo will face Nigeria in Group A.
On the same day in the Men’s, Ghana will face Senegal in Group B, while the other scheduled match between Egypt and Nigeria has obviously been cancelled.