About 2,000 fans gathered at Cairo’s main stadium on Saturday to watch Egypt’s last home practice before the Pharaohs fly to their World Cup base in Grozny, Chechnya.

Egypt also unveiled its mascot, a green “Nile Crocodile” in a red Egypt jersey.

Qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 1990, Egypt opens its campaign against Uruguay on Friday. Host team Russia and Saudi Arabia are also in the group.

Star striker Mohamed Salah, still recovering from a right shoulder injury sustained during the Champions League final last month, suited up for the celebrations but did not train with the squad.

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