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Ghana questions Cairo venue


ACCRA — Ghana has requested for the return leg of the World Cup qualifying playoff with Egypt on November 19 2013 to be moved to a safe and secure venue.


Following recent political unrest in the North African country which has claimed innocent lives, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has asked FIFA, the organisers of the qualifier to take a look at the security situation of that country and re-evaluate t decision to host the game in Cairo.

In a letter sent to Fifa on Monday night, the GFA expressed concern at the deteriorating security situation in Egypt.

“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 19th November, 2013 from Egypt to a safe and secure venue.

“Our request is premised on the alarming and fast deteriorating security situation in Egypt. Since the date, kick-off and venue for the second-leg match were set, no official information has been received by the GFA from the Egypt Football Association of Fifa contrary to article 19 (2) of the Regulations for the 2014 Fifa World Cup, Brazil.

“Unfortunately, we have learnt about the date, kick-off and venue for the second leg match between Egypt and Ghana from the media. We are still waiting to receive the said information as per the relevant Regulations and the letter dated September 16, 2013 signed by Mr Gordon Savic, Head of Fifa World Cup & Olympic Qualifiers to the ten countries participating in the Fifa World Cup Qualifying Play-offs 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 before fans. 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.

“Local clubs Al Ahly and Zamalek played their recent CAF Champions League matches behind closed doors as the security authorities refused the supporters access to the games because of the current turmoil in Egypt. Just two weeks ago, a fan of a local club Zamalek was killed following clashes between ultras and security forces outside the club’s headquarters.

“Since then the violence in Egypt has escalated leaving the GFA and some of the Black Stars players to express their grave concern over their safety for the match scheduled for Cairo in November, 2013.”

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