You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2013 10 18Article 289229

Sports Features of Friday, 18 October 2013

Source: Kofi Thompson

FIFA must change venue for Egypt-Ghana return leg

By Kofi Thompson

The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), must change the venue for the return match for the Ghana-Egypt World Cup qualifying match scheduled to be played in Egypt on 19/11/2013.

There is no question that had Egypt been playing a European nation in a World Cup qualifying match, FIFA would never have countenanced Egypt using any stadium in that nation as their home ground.

Egypt is a nation in turmoil. Foreigners going there do so at their own risk.

Why should we allow what many football fans around the world insist amounts to an uncaring and irresponsible attitude on FIFA's part, in this particular instance, in putting the lives of Ghanaian footballers and supporters of the Black Stars at risk, by sanctioning a match in a nation in turmoil, and in which even in times of normalcy, black people are regarded as second-class citizens, and routinely treated with disdain by the majority Arab population?

Let us not give the Egyptian national team's football players, and their emotional and highly-strung supporters, the opportunity to exact their revenge for the humiliation they suffered in Kumasi - and then mourn and wail when tragedy strikes in Egypt: and Ghanaian lives are lost and many Ghanaians wounded as a result of violence by Egyptian football fans.

Who in Ghana missed the callousness and arrogance underlying the rough-tactics employed by the Egyptian players who deliberately inflicted serious injuries on some of the players of the Black Stars?

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) must move swiftly to get FIFA to change the venue of the return match from Egyptian soil.

Surely, it will not be a disadvantage for the Egyptian national team, the Pharaohs, were the return match against Ghana, to be played in either Morocco or Qatar - both of which are Arab nations?

One is not being an alarmist, in saying that if we are to avoid certain tragedy in Egypt for our nation, FIFA must be forced by the GFA to change the return match venue, for the Ghana-Egypt World Cup qualifier scheduled to be played in Egypt on 19/11/2013. A word to the wise...