Egypt turned down an offer to play Russia during the ongoing international break, according to FA President Hany Abourida in a TV interview on Tuesday.
The offer, according to Abourida, was made prior to Egypt’s 2-1 win over Congo in October, which secured the Pharaohs’ first World Cup finals appearance since 1990.
“When we received the Russian offer, our qualification was not secured yet,” Abourida said.
“I preferred to turn down the offer in order not to distract the players.”
Abourida says that the FA prefers to begin World Cup preparations after the Dec. 1 group draw in Moscow.
“I preferred to put any plans on hold until the World Cup draw.
“We will have many offers for friendlies after the draw, and we will choose the one that best suits the national team.”
Egypt’s only match during the international break was its final World Cup qualifier, a 1-1 draw against Ghana in Cape Coast.