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Sports Features of Saturday, 2 November 2013


Debate: Should supporters be sent to 'volatile' Cairo?

No one wants to go into a key battle – especially in the ‘enemy’s’ territory – feeling lonely and without support.

This is the potential situation at hand with FIFA declaring Cairo safe for Egypt to host the Black Stars in the second-leg of the Word Cup playoff on November 19.

They have been debates as to whether it is necessary to risk more lives in terms of support for the game being played in the Egyptian capital which is engulfed in some sort of violence amidst political and civil unrest.

Members of the various supporters unions argue it is during these ‘life-threatening’ times that their services are most needed.

“Even if we are playing in hell, we have to go and support our team,” Aziz Haruna Futa told Citi FM.

Skeptics, however, insist risking more lives – other than the Black Stars – by committing Ghanaians to travel to support the team is simply not worth it.

“I don’t think the kind of security that is going to be provided for the team will be the same that will be given to the supporters. Rendering them relatively unsafe and exposed to any kind of violence that might emerge from such a volatile place,” Ebo Appiah argued on Happy FM.

But then what will be the effect for the Black Stars knowing their playing before a packed Egyptian crowd with absolutely no backing in terms of support in the stands?

“If Asamoah Gyan scores, to which group of supporters is he going to celebrate? Or should he be limited in his celebration?” Mercy Adjei – a supporter union member told

“They need to feel on the pitch even in a dangerous environment that Ghanaians and many more others are looking up to them to keep up with their performance.”

These supporters are drawing some comfort in the fact that the security situation in Cairo has improved even though mindful another massive Black Stars result could spark trouble.

“If the players themselves are going to play in such conditions then why can’t there be the usual support for them,” Adjei continued.

“FIFA say the place is safe for football so as far as I am concerned, once the team is going there with these assurances, I believe protection for the away fans will also be assured.”

What do you think about these divergent views on the subject matter? Is it worth taking supporters along to provide morale-boosting services for the Black Stars in ‘volatile’ Egypt?