Sports News of Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Source: Daily Guide
Ghana is demanding a face to face meeting with FIFA President Joseph Blatter to seek clarity on guarantees of safety for players, officials, supporters and the media who will be traveling to the troubled North African state of Egypt for the second leg of their Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier.
In a letter signed by Ghana’s Minister of Youth & Sports Hon Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, the ministry posed several questions to the world football governing body, FIFA, seeking specific security details that they (FIFA) have put in place to guarantee the safety of the Ghanaian contingent that will make the journey for the crucial match in Cairo.
FIFA on Wednesday November 30 announced that the second leg of the 2014 World Cup qualifier between Egypt and Ghana will go ahead in Cairo despite the genuine security concerns raised by the Ghana Football Association.
FIFA in a letter addressed to the Ghana FA revealed that their decision not to switch venues was based on ‘guarantees’ from the Egyptian government and FA to beef up security ahead of the clash coupled with the fact that CAF had given the go-ahead for Al Ahly to play their CAF Champions league final in Cairo in a few weeks.
Though the Youth and Sports Ministry does not challenge FIFA’s decision to play the match in Cairo, the Ministry insists it needs clarification on the exact measures put in place by FIFA to contain the emotions of the Egyptian soccer fans in the aftermath of any result, during and after the game.
According to the letter, Ghana is ready and willing to play Egypt anywhere, however the Ministry of Youth and Sports is asking FIFA who would be held liable, accountable and responsible in the unfortunate event of any Ghanaian being harmed before, during or after the match.
The Egyptian government recently assured Ghanaians that they will allow 30,000 spectators into the stadium with very tight security presence to watch the game after the GFA wrote to FIFA asking for the match to be moved away from Egypt due to the political unrest in the country.
The Ghana Football Association has since rolled out plans for the team leading up to the game in Cairo with Black Stars set to camp in Ethiopia from the 11th of November. The team then arrives in Cairo on November 18 for the game to be played at the Air Defence Stadium the following day.
Ghana beat Egypt 6-1 in the first leg of the qualifier in Kumasi. The aggregate winner of the two legs qualifies for next year’s finals in Brazil.