The Africa Cup of Nations trophy retained by Egypt permanently after the Pharaohs won the title three times in a row has been lost.
Former federation member Magdi Abdelghani explained that the cup was destroyed in a fire at the association’s Cairo HQ in 2013.
Ex-Egyptian Football Association vice-president Ahmed Shobeir earlier 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 of several items of silverware that had been lost in a fire seven years ago, according to Goal.
“Officials of the committee which meets every five years and currently manages the Football Association were surprised that the trophy was not available, in light of their desire to create a museum at the federation headquarters, which would feature the trophy and the national team’s kits,” Shobeir said on the ‘On Time Sports’ TV show.
“However, [they] were surprised to find that the Afcon trophy was lost, and decided 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.
Later, ex-Egypt midfielder Abdelghani clarified in a press conference that the trophy had been lost in a fire seven years ago.
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 questioned about the cup after nine years, 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!