Soccer News of Friday, 27 September 2013
...ahead of Ghana match
Egypt midfielder Ahmed Farag says the pitch quality at the Air Defence Stadium in Cairo is not good enough for the game against Ghana.
The 27-year-old who plays in Belgium with Standard Liege told the BBC that too many matches have been played on that pitch, noting that the state of the pitch could count against the Pharaohs when they face Ghana on November 19 in the second leg of the final 2014 World Cup qualifier.
“The Air Defence Stadium is a good stadium but the field is not good because so many matches have been played on that pitch. When you watch on TV you would think the field is good but really the pitch is not good. The players don’t like this field and that could go against us,” Farag said.
Farag bemoaned the fact that Egypt cannot play at the Cairo National Stadium because of the ongoing crisis in Egypt, describing the situation as bad news for the players and fans of the Pharaohs.
“We the players are not happy with this because we wanted to play the match in the Cairo Stadium but there are too many problems and the stadium is not available. The police and army say we cannot play there and so it’s bad news for the players and fans,” he added.
The former Ismailia midfielder says the presence of the fans for the second leg could spur Egypt on, but warned that the Pharaohs need a good result in the first leg in Kumasi on October 15.
“I think it’s good but first we have a difficult match away and so we need to get a good result. If we concede too many goals, it will be difficult for us. If we get a good result in Kumasi, we can, with the support of the fans, get a good result in Cairo.”
Farag says Egypt needs to qualify for the World Cup to bring the warring factions together, since there are too many problems in Egypt at the moment.
“We have too many problems in Egypt and only football can make people happy in this moment. We last went to the world Cup in 1990 and so Egyptians need this qualification and if we beat Ghana, the victory can bring the warring factions together.”