The 2012 Arab Cup of Nations is not just a friendly tournament for the Egypt Olympic team, according to manager Hany Ramzy.
The Egypt U-23s will take part in the regional competition as a final rehearsal for the Summer Olympic Games in London, where Ramzy’s team kick off their campaign against Brazil on July 26.
“This tournament is equivalent to the three years of preparation we’ve been through,” Ramzy was quoted as saying by the Egyptian FA’s website.
“The matches will decide our final roster for the Olympics and players have to be fully focused from now.
“The opening game against Sudan must be taken seriously, just like our Olympics opener with Brazil.”
Egypt take on Sudan on Sunday before playing Iraq and Lebanon in Group C.
Meanwhile, hosts Saudi Arabia coasted to a 4-0 victory over Kuwait on Friday, with Mohamed Al-Sahlawi and Issa Al-Mehyani scoring two goals apiece.