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Cairo International Stadium to host Egypt-Botswana clash

Egypt national teamEgypt will play Wednesday’s crunch 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Botswana in a familiar setting, for a change. 

On Monday, security officials agreed to stage the match at Cairo International Stadium and confirmed allowing 20,000 supporters to attend.

It marks a change in venue, with the contest previously slated to be held at the June 30 Stadium, just outside the capital.

It was thought that Cairo International Stadium would be more difficult to secure given its size as well as surveillance logistics. However, it’s now set to stage its first international football match in the presence of fans in over three years.

The Pharaohs clung to its qualification hopes on Friday with a 2-0 win over Botswana in Gaborone. They remain four points adrift of Group G summiteers Senegal and Tunisia and anything less than a victory on Wednesday would effectively quash any hope of reaching next year’s finals in Morocco. The group leaders will face-off on the same day in Montastir.

Egypt’s usual home ground, Cairo International Stadium (once called Nasser Stadium) has an estimated capacity of 75,000, with past attendance estimates of nearly 120,000. Renovations to the stadium nearly a decade ago, done primarily for security purposes, reduced the venue’s capacity by roughly 15,000.

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