2014 WC Playoff: Ghana requests venue change for Egypt clash
08 October 2013, 18:58
Accra - Ghana says it has written to World
Football Governing Body -- FIFA -- requesting that the return leg of the
World Cup qualifying playoff with Egypt scheduled on Nov. 19 be moved
to another venue.
The country wants the match to be moved to a "safe and secure
venue", in the wake of political unrests in the North African country
which has claimed hundreds of lives.
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) is asking FIFA to re-evaluate
the decision to host the game in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, according
to a letter sent to FIFA on Monday.
"The Ghana Football Association (GFA) wishes to kindly request FIFA
to move the venue for the 2014 World Cup Qualifying second-leg play-off
between Egypt and Ghana on Nov. 19.
"The match should be moved from Egypt to a safe and secure venue,’’ said the letter quoted from the GFA website.
GFA said its request was premised on the "alarming and fast deteriorating security situation in Egypt."
It said since the date, kick-off and venue for the second leg match
were set, no official information had been received by the GFA from
Egypt Football Association, contrary to article 19 (2) of the
Regulations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The letter said: "Unfortunately, we have learnt about the date,
kick-off and venue for the second leg match between Egypt and Ghana from
"We are still waiting to receive the said information as per the
relevant Regulations and the letter dated Sept. 16, 2013 signed by Gordon Savic, Head of FIFA World Cup and Olympic Qualifiers to the 10
countries participating in the FIFA World Cup Qualifying
Playoffs for Africa.
"The GFA is gravely concerned that for the past two years, Egyptian
authorities have only allowed football matches to be played without
spectators, yet Ghana has reportedly been asked to play Egypt in Cairo
"It is noteworthy that Egypt played all their home qualifying
matches for the 2014 World Cup with Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Guinea in
Egypt without spectators.’’
GFA said Egyptian local clubs -- Al Ahly and Zamalek -- played their recent CAF Champions League matches behind closed-doors.
The security authorities refused the supporters access to the games
because of the current turmoil in Egypt, adding that just two weeks ago a
fan of a local club, Zamalek, was killed following clashes outside the
"Since then the violence in Egypt has escalated, leaving the GFA and
some of the Black Stars (Ghana's national team) players to express
their grave concerns over their safety for the match scheduled for Cairo
in November 2013,’’ the football association
GFA also said on Sunday, 50 people were killed following protests in
Cairo, which led to clashes between security forces and supporters of
deposed President Mohammed Morsi.
"The violence has shown no sign of abating with at least nine
Egyptian soldiers and police officers killed in two attacks in different
regions on Monday, according to media reports,’’ it added.
The first leg of the playoff will be played in the Ghanaian city of Kumasi on Oct. 15.