Fifa Starts Monitoring Egypt Security Situation After Ghana’s Request For Neutral Venue
Posted On Tuesday, 8th October 2013
FIFA has started monitoring the security situation in Egypt to decide whether to move next month’s crucial World Cup playoff against Ghana to a neutral venue following a protest by the Ghana FA over the escalating violence in the North African country, GHANAsoccernet.com can exclusively reveal.
The world governing body has not set a date for the decision to be taken whether to host the second-leg match in Egypt as it will continue to monitor the situation before the final decision is made.
FIFA has been sparked into action after the Ghana Football Association asked for the match originally scheduled for Cairo to be moved to a neutral venue because of turmoil in Egypt, FIFA told Ghana’s leading football news outlets.
At least 51 people were killed in riots in Cairo last weekend linked to the ousting of the elected state president, Mohammed Morsi.
Egypt are scheduled to host Ghana in Cairo on 19 November in the second leg to decide which country advances to next year’s tournament in Brazil. The first leg is on 15 October in Kumasi.
The GFA noted that Egyptian authorities have barred spectators from football matches for the past two years, including World Cup qualifiers against Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Guinea.
The GFA said some of its players expressed “grave concern over their safety for the match” and this has prompted FIFA to start monitoring the security situation in Egypt.
“We can confirm that FIFA has received a request from the Ghana Football Association to change the venue of their second-leg 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier play-off match against Egypt,” a FIFA spokesman told GHANAsoccernet.com exclusively.
“We can’t give you an exact time-scale for the decision since we are currently monitoring the situation,” the spokesman told Ghana’s leading football news outlet, GHANAsoccernet.com.
The Egypt team are coached by the American Bob Bradley. Their World Cup qualifying campaign has been buffeted by the political turmoil in the country.
The play-off draw last month paired Egypt with the powerful Ghana team, who reached the quarter-finals at the 2010 World Cup when it beat Bradley’s USA in the last 16.
Now, Fifa could be forced by security risks to deny Egypt and their fans the chance to see the match on home ground.
“Events in the country pointedly indicate that our delegation could be exposed to danger as the violence and insecurity in the country continues relentlessly,” the Ghana letter said.