FIFA issues Egypt 17 day deadline to guarantee security for return leg
In a letter sent to the football associations of Ghana and Egypt, world governing body FIFA has given Egypt 17 days to provide comprehensive security assurances ahead of the second leg of the 2014 World Cup qualifying play-off.
“With regards to the recent security situation prevailing in Cairo and in some different spots in Egypt, and in order to ensure that all the parties concerned can organize their matches and play them in a totally safe and secure environment we would like to ask the Egyptian Football Association to coordinate with the national authorities by MONDAY 28th OCTOBER AT THE LATEST, the written security guarantees as well as the global security plan around this match in compliance with the FIFA Stadium, Safety and Security Regulations as of the arrival of the delegations (visiting team and FIFA Match Officials) up to their departure with all the necessary precisions regarding their stay and protection in Cairo,” FIFA wrote in a letter sent to the Egyptian Football Association and the Ghana Football Association on Friday.
“Although all our hopes and wishes sincerely expect that the security situation will go back to normal in a definite manner we would need to consider alternatives in the event that this were not the case in November.
“We will this keep monitoring the situation as possibly revert to you with additional request/enquiries in due course,” the letter signed by the FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke read.
This comes in response to the Ghana Football Association’s petition to FIFA, where they requested for a ‘safer venue’ for the second leg tie of the 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Egypt, due to security concerns in Cairo.
Sports minister Taher Abou-Zeid, who was appointed just a few weeks ago, announced that the return leg against Ghana will be played among the presence of fans at Cairo’s Air Defense Stadium on November 19.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) insists there is no reason for the GFA to worry, as they are capable of securing games “without any problems.”
“The second leg match will be held in Cairo on 19 November and this is final. The security authorities will provide heavy security for the game,” EFA spokesman Azmy Megahed told Ahram Online on Tuesday.
“These claims are unfounded and we reject all demands to play the game outside Egypt. We are capable of securing any game, not just the Ghana one. Ahly and Zamalek have been playing their games in the African Champions League in Egypt without any problems,” EFA president Gamal Allam said last Monday.
The Egyptian national team are set to arrive in Kumasi on Saturday ahead of the first leg of the World Cup qualifying play-off, to be held at the Baba Yara Stadium on Tuesday at 16:00 GMT.
Bob Bradley asked to travel four days ahead of the crucial game in Ghana to allow the players time to get used to the atmosphere.
The Pharaohs are eyeing their first World Cup appearance since 1990, while Ghana are seeking to reach the tournament for the third consecutive time, having reached the quarter finals in their last appearance in 2010.
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