Egypt’s World Cup play-off venue still undecided

Karim Farouk, Thursday 19 Sep 2013

Egyptian officials fail to get security clearance to play at Cairo or Borg El-Arab stadium

Egypt coach Bob Bradley (Photo: Reuters)

With 24 hours left to the FIFA deadline, Egypt is still undecided on the venue for their World Cup qualifiers play-off match against Ghana in November.

The draw held on Monday in Cairo has paired the Pharaohs with Ghana and according to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA procedures the full match details should be communicated to FIFA and the visiting team by 20 September.

Minister of Sports Taher Abou Zeid held a meeting on Thursday with Egyptian Football Association (EFA) officials and FIFA executive committee member Hani Abou-Reida from Egypt to discuss the matter.

According to Ahram Sports, the parties agreed that the game will be played in Cairo or Borg El-Arab stadium, but they have not yet been given security clearance.
The report also said that the Egyptian officials are trying to delay the deadline, hoping the volatile situation in Egypt will calm down.

Egypt has witnessed ongoing violent protests and clashes since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July by the military amid mass protests.

The Pharaohs’ technical staff have already revealed their desire to play the World Cup decider outside of Egypt to avoid any distractions for the players. The national team schedule had been severely disrupted by the situation in Egypt and the team were forced to play behind closed doors in Gouna, a Red Sea resort, on several occasions.

However, EFA officials and Abou-Zeid, who was a member of the last Egyptian team that played in the World Cup in 1990, promised to get the team the home support in order to realise the long-held Egyptian dream.

The Pharaohs will play Ghana on 13 October in Kumasi and the return leg is set to be played in Egypt from 15 to 19 November.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)

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