Egypt's World Cup qualifier against Guinea moved to Red Sea resort

Hatem Maher, Saturday 7 Sep 2013

Egypt says FIFA has accepted their demand of holding Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Guinea in the Red Sea resort of El-Gouna

El-Gouna stadium
The tiny El-Gouna stadium hosted Ahly-Zamalek African Champions League clash in July (Photo: Ahram)

Egypt's World Cup qualifier at home to Guinea has been moved to the Red Sea resort of El-Gouna due to security concerns, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) said.

The EFA initially sought to stage Tuesday's qualifier at an army-owned stadium in Alexandria but the interior ministry turned down their requests, citing lingering security worries in a country still struggling to restore order following the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi on 3 July.

Reports said FIFA only approves three Egyptian stadiums, including Borg El-Arab in Alexandria and Cairo Stadium in the capital, to host World Cup qualifying games but the EFA said they were granted an exception for the Guinea tie.

"[World governing body] FIFA has accepted [request] to hold the match the World Cup qualifier against Guinea in El-Gouna," the EFA said in a statement on their website.

"[EFA vice president] Hani Abou-Reida has exerted lots of efforts to solve the matter as he contacted FIFA and Guinean federation officials. His efforts eventually bore fruit."

The final Group D match, which will be played behind closed doors, will take place at a tiny 12,000-seat stadium in El-Gouna, which is around 430 kilometers south of Cairo.

The same venue has hosted recent African Champions League encounters for Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek.

Egypt’s game against Guinea is largely meaningless after the seven-time African Champions had ensured they would finish on top of the group with one game to spare after becoming the only African team to collect maximum 15 points from five matches.

They are anxiously waiting for the 16 September draw to learn who they would face in the final two-legged playoff as they seek to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1990.

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