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04-Sep-2020, 11:32 pm

Egypt FA confirm loss of Africa Cup of Nations trophy

Afcon trophy

The Africa Cup of Nations trophy retained by Egypt permanently after the Pharaohs won the title three times in a row has been lost, with former federation member Magdi Abdelghani explaining that the cup was destroyed in a fire at the association's Cairo HQ in 2013.

Ex-Egyptian Football Association vice-president Ahmed Shobeirearlier revealed that the trophy was discovered missing during preparations to build a museum to house all of the silverware won by the North African nation.

Former Fifa Board Member and Pharaohs great Abdelghani later confirmed that the cup was one ofseveral items of silverware that had been lost in a fire seven years ago.

"Officials of the committee which meets every five years and currently manages the Football Association were surprised that the trophywas not available, in light of their desire to create a museum at the federation headquarters, which would feature the trophy and the national team'skits," Shobeirsaid on the 'On Time Sports' TV show.

"However, they were surprised to find that the Afcon trophy was lost, anddecided to open an investigation."

It was initially claimed that former captain Ahmed Hassan - who skippered the team to success at the biennial tournament in 2006, 2008 and 2010 - was in possession of the trophy, although he subsequently denied the claim.

"The committee searched for the trophy, but thenan employee told them that Ahmed Hassan, the former captain of the Egyptian national team, who won the cup three times in a row, has keptit," Shobeir added.

Later, ex-Egypt midfielder Abdelghani clarified in a press conference that the trophyhad been lost in a fire seven years ago.

"After the burning of the Football Association headquarters, some cups were lost, and the matter was investigated," the former FA memberbegan, "including the Africa Cup of Nations that we retained.

"Some said that the cup had been withShawky Gharib, the former general coach of the Egyptnational team, and some say it had been with Hassan, the former captainof the Pharaohs."

After learning of the trophy's disappearance, Hassan took to social media to express his dismay at the loss.

"I wish I had kept the cup in my house instead of it being lost," he posted on his @AhmedHassan Twitter handle,"and I am surprised that I'm being questionedabout the cup after nineyears, despite the presence of two FA boards, and the five-year committee for a year and two months...but they're only now looking for the cup!

"One of the members of the five-year committee contacted me and told me that they would put a picture of me with the African Nations Cup on the wall inside the federation," Hassan continued, "and he asked me about the cup.

"I told him that I had delivered it back in 2011, and he said to me: 'I wish you had not handed it over, as the cup is not at the association now.'"

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