The Ghana team celebrate after scoring during their World Cup 2014 African zone qualifying soccer match against Egypt at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi October 15, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)
The Black Stars are ready for their World Cup playoff in Egypt despite earlier security concerns, Ghana Football Association (GFA) boss Kwesi Nyantakyi has said.
“Initially [the players] had fears but we have spoken to them and they are psyched up,” Nyantakyi was quoted on Ghanasoccernet on Wednesday.
Ghana, who won the first-leg 6-1 in Kumasi, initially requested their 19 November away match be played outside Egypt due to the unstable security situation, but FIFA said the North African country was safe enough to host the match.
“The players are now ready to play,” Nyantakyi said.
Football in Egypt has been severely affected by an ongoing security crisis since the January 2011 uprising. All matches were stopped after president Mohamed Morsi was ousted on 3 July and hundreds of people were killed in violent street protests. However, the situation has become calmer in recent weeks and matches have started again.
The Egypt Cup has resumed but behind closed doors and in a stadium hundreds of kilometers from Cairo. The final will be held on Saturday between 21-time champions Zamalek and first-time finalist Wadi Degla.
Meanwhile, the first match in front of a full stadium since the Port Said tragedy in February 2012 will take place when champions Ahly host South Africa's Orlando Pirates in the CAF Champions League final at the Air Defence stadium on Sunday. The first leg ended with a 1-1 draw in Johannesburg.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)