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EFA president: Egypt will play World Cup play-off tie at home
Egypt will seek security clearance to play the home tie in the World Cup qualifying play-offs in Cairo, despite circulating rumors that the Pharaohs aim to host the match abroad.
Egypt’s assistant coach Diaa El-Sayed revealed that the national team’s technical staff, headed by American coach Bob Bradley, are eager to play the home tie of the 2014 World Cup qualifying play-offs outside of Egypt: “so as not to put pressure on military and police officials,” El-Sayed told a television programme on Sunday.
“We want to avoid distraction, as we need the players to concentrate on the games,” El-Sayd added.
However, the Egyptian Football Association president Gamal Allam has dismissed rumors that the Pharaohs might play their home play-off leg in Morocco: “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 will host Guinea in their final Group G match of the World Cup qualifiers in the Red Sea resort of El-Gouna on Tuesday, after changing the venue from Cairo due to security reasons. Although, the Pharaohs have already secured their qualification to 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 September 16th in Cairo. The seven-time African champions will meet one of Ivory Coast, Algeria, Nigeria, Ghana and Cape Verde in the final round of World Cup qualifying.