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Egypt will play World Cup decider at home: EFA president

Egypt football chief will seek security clearance to play the game in Cairo and boost the Pharaohs' chances

Karim Farouk, Monday 9 Sep 2013
Egypt's soccer team players (Photo: Reuters)

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) president Gamal Allam has played down circulating rumors that the Pharaohs might play their home play-off match in the World Cup 2014 qualifiers abroad.

"We have no intention of moving the National team's [home] play-off game outside Egypt," Allam told Ahram Sports on Wednesday.

"The board totally rejects such a possibility and we will start talks in the next few days with authorities to get security clearance. We want to provide the best conditions for our team, because playing abroad will harm our chances of reaching the World Cup 2014," he added.

Egypt have already secured their qualification for the final round, where they will play a two-legged play-off tie. The draw, which will determine the opponents of the seven-time African champions, is to be held on Sunday in Luxor.

Assistant coach Diaa Al-Sayed had revealed the intention of the staff to play Egypt's home-leg abroad during to security concerns. He said that he wanted to spare the players any distractions ahead of the crucial tie.

Egypt's game against Guinea on Tuesday has been moved to Gouna, a Red Sea resort, and will be played behind closed doors as the security authorities refused to handle the game in Cairo or Alexandria.

Meanwhile, Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek have had several requests to play their African Champions League games in certain stadiums denied due to current turbulent times, leaving them with the only option to play in Gouna's poorly-lit stadium in daylight.

The situation has left both teams complaining of unnecessary distractions just days ahead of their games, which is precisely what Egypt's staff had hoped to avoid in order to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1990.

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