Feature: Ghana Have Every Right To Protest Against Egypt Fixture
Posted On Wednesday, 9th October 2013
All the pre-match boast of ‘we can win’, ‘we are confident’ and ‘they are not better than us’ has not gone far beyond the routine chatter that precedes such a decisive contest like the one between Egypt and Ghana.
Players from both sides have been relishing the troops, managers trying to boost their teams’ morale and even former stars are egging on their respective nation ahead of the big game.
It was all within the boundaries of sportsmanship and professionalism until…
…our so-called officials blessed us with their commonly infamous manner of dealing with important issues, just because Ghana have spoken about security.
In an utterly respectful manner, the Ghanaians voiced their concerns – and so rightfully did – over the return leg with an errorless, well-stated request for FIFA to reconsider staging the game in Cairo.
Ghana’s incisive statement included phrases like ‘we sympathize with our brothers at the Egyptian Football Association’ and ‘protecting lives and from both Ghana and Egypt’.
Now this is a decent, professional manner to address your opponents, while looking for a dispute-free way to highlight an existing problem.
Unsurprisingly, Egyptian FA officials could only respond to what they perceived as ‘intimidations’ by further insisting that Cairo will host the match.
Instead of at least replying with the same courtesy and assuring their visitors that the situation is under control (which isn’t true by the way), our ‘super-cool’ FA followed such a disregardful approach of defying their counterparts, only to create an unnecessary debate.
It is clear the Ghanaians are not doing this just because they are ‘afraid to face our fans’ or because they intend to ‘shake our stability’ with such pre-match platitudes.
And without recalling details, let’s not forget the shameful role of our football governing body in that infamous dispute that took place between Egypt and Algeria four years ago.
Without any problems!
Now let’s move to the main subject of Ghana’s complaint in the first place; security.
As any rational person can see, Egypt – as a country – has been and is still stumbling through a minefield of political instability which normally brings along anything, absolutely anything.
That’s why Egypt assistant manager Diaa Al-Sayed – in a very wise and reasonable mood – said last month:
“Let’s not hope that the playoff home game will be played in Egypt, because it won’t.
“We do not want to put pressure on authorities, get the green light to play in Egypt and then be forced to change the venue three days before the game.
“I think playing in Egypt will not be much of an advantage for us. For the good of the country, we should play outside.”
But no…Egyptian officials – typified by that FA board – just have a habit of complicating things and trying to be smart by initially announcing and recently insisting that the match will be held in Cairo, and IN THE PRESENCE OF FANS.
In response to Ghana’s request, the chairman of the Egyptian FA argued that: “Ghana’s claims (about insecurity) are unfounded”…and that “Ahli and Zamalek have been playing Champions League games in Egypt without any problems.”
Without any problems???
With just a few thousand fans present, Ahli’s home game against Congo’s Leopards – a significantly less important one than the Ghana return leg – was delayed for about 25 minutes and almost called off because violence erupted in the stands before kickoff.
Yes it was mild and the incident was negligible, yet the fact remains that anything, absolutely anything can happen when masses of people are driven by uncontrollable fervor in Egypt; and this will exactly be the case if fans were unlimitedly allowed against Ghana.