Egypt-Chad World Cup qualifier stadium threatened by possible heavy rain, officials warn

Eslam Omar , Sunday 15 Nov 2015

'It's unsafe to hold Egypt-Chad World Cup qualifier in Borg El-Arab stadium in Alexandria,' experts stress, while the CAF regulations to move the game may trouble the EFA

Borg El-Arab
Egypt's Borg El-Arab stadium after heavy rain hit Alexandria last month (Photo: Ahram Sport)

Egypt Meteorological Authority officials have warned of possible heavy rains in Alexandria and the North Coast on Tuesday, which is expected to influence whether or not the Egypt-Chad match will be held in Borg El-Arab Stadium.

"Alexandria will witness heavy rain this week. This is a known yearly climatic phenomenon called El-Maknasa [the sweeper] and this will profoundly affect Borg El-Arab stadium," the Authority boss Ahmed Abdel-Aal stated to Egyptian media Sunday morning.

The coastal city of Alexandria, among many other cities in Egypt, suffered environmental disasters last month due to heavy rains, which the sewage system failed to absorb.

The military-owned arena, Borg El-Arab stadium, was covered in mud and water following the severe flooding that struck a number of Egyptian cities.

On Tuesday, the Egyptian National team will play their second-leg of the 2018 World Cup qualifier playoff against Chad in Borg El-Arab with the attendance of fans for the first time in years following successive stadiums' bloody clashes.

"We are officially warning of holding the game at Borg El-Arab stadium because it will definitely be flooded. We highly recommend holding it in Aswan. Nothing can be done to stop this disaster except to cover the roofless stadium and this is very difficult," Abdel-Aal stressed.

Egypt FA may try to move the game away from Alexandria

From their side, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has stated that it will be difficult to get confirmations to move the match, especially to Aswan.

The Confederation of African Football regulations require the host to inform them of possible arena changes ten days before the game. An exception can be made, however, in case of emergency.

"We will discuss the matter with the association boss Gamal Allam right after his arrival from Chad, but moving the game to Aswan will be too difficult. We might consider moving it to Cairo," the EFA board member Magdy El-Metnawy stated in an interview with an Egyptian radio program Sunday afternoon.

The next few hours should reveal the final decisions regarding the location and security procedures of the game.

The match is very important for the Pharaohs, who lost 1-0 away Saturday, in their attempt to appear in the globe's most prestigious sports event they miss since 1990.

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