CAIRO: Egypt assistant coach Shawki Gharib refuted reports indicating that Mohamed Zidan considers skipping next month s African Cup of Nations in Angola.
The Borussia Dortmund striker was quoted by Egyptian media as saying that he pondered staying with his German club to be part of their training camp in Spain during the Bundesliga winter break.
He was named in Egypt s provisional 32-man squad for the Nations Cup, which runs from Jan. 10 to 31.
Those reports are untrue; Zidan is committed to playing with the national team, Gharib told reporters on Wednesday.
He will just miss our friendly game against Malawi (scheduled for Dec. 29) because he will join us on the first of January.
Despite being an integral member of Egypt s squad, Zidan is no stranger to controversy.
The Pharaohs coach Hassan Shehata snubbed him for several games after he failed to show up for a friendly match against Guinea last August.
The 28-year-old is forging a fine partnership with Argentinean striker Lucas Barrios with Dortmund this season.
He scored two league goals so far and dished out numerous assists for his teammates.
Shehata is expected to rely heavily on Zidan in Angola due to the absence of Amr Zaki, who was ruled out of the tournament due to injury.
Injured playmaker Mohamed Abou-Trika is also unlikely to make Egypt s final squad.