August 20, 2008 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president will receive Egyptian soccer team players on Thursday in honor of their achievement in winning the 2008 African Cup of Nations held in Ghana earlier this year.
- Egypt captain Ahmed Hassan, center left, hoists the cup with teammates and coaching staff as Egypt celebrates their win over Cameroon after the Africa Cup of Nations final soccer match at Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra, Ghana, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008 (AP)
The pro-government Al-Rayaam daily said that President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir will present the golden sports medal to the Egyptian squad including Coach Hassan Shehata.
Al-Rayaam also said that Al-Bashir will award the Egyptians 35 vehicles, manufactured at state-owned Giad Automotive, among other gifts. The cars will be shipped via Port of Aqaba in Jordan.
However Samir Zaher, president of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) told Egyptian press that only players, head coach and his assistants will accept the gifts. This will effectively exclude EFA members in the delegation.
Zaher also voiced his support to Al-Bashir after the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo requested an arrest warrant for him.
The African champions on Wednesday lost 4-0 to their Sudanese counterparts in the warm-up match held in Khartoum today. This is Egypt’s first defeat by their southern neighbor in 33 years.