Pharaohs call for soldiers to support team against Mozambique
National team assistant coach asks for soldiers to replace fans at behind-closed-doors clash with Mozambique in World Cup qualifier on 1 June, Kenyan refereeing crew to officiate game
Mahmoud Elassal, Sunday 6 May 2012
Egypt's assistance coach Diaa El Sayed (Photo: AP)
Egypt assistant coach Diaa El-Sayed has called for army soldiers to support the national team against Mozambique in the 2014 World Cup qualifier at the Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria after the interior ministry ordered the game to be played behind closed doors.
"We hope to allow military soldiers to support the national team inside the stadium instead of playing the game behind closed doors," El-Sayed told Ahram Online.
"Military fans will lift the players and help them win the game," he added.
The seven-time African Cup of Nations (CAN) champions, under the guidance of American coach Bob Bradley, will kick off their Brazil 2014 World Cup campaign in June, paired with Guinea, Zimbabwe and Mozambique in Group G. In addition, they are scheduled to play the Central African Republic in CAN 2013 qualifiers during the same month.
The match will be played behind closed doors according to a letter sent by the interior ministry to the Egyptian Football Association (EFA).
There have been serious concerns about violence in stadiums since February's deadly Port Said disaster, which left more than 70 people dead and over 300 injured and resulted in the suspension of all domestic Egyptian football activities.
Egyptian teams Ahly, Zamalek and ENPII have been playing their home games in the African club competitions behind closed doors since the Port Said disaster.
FIFA have named a Kenyan refereeing crew to officiate the Egypt and Mozambique match on 1 June.
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