Egyptian Authorities Allow Fans To Attend World Cup Qualifier Against Ghana
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) have decided to allow a total of 50,000 fans to attend the 2018 World Cup qualifier between the Pharaohs of Egypt and the Black Stars of Ghana at the Borg El Arab Stadium on Sunday November 13.
There have been strict restrictions on fans at soccer matches in Egypt since 2012, when 72 Al Ahly fans were killed in violence that broke out at a match in Port Said.
The national team has experienced little hope support in the stands as a result of those restrictions, while local matches were also affected, during the few periods in which the local league was able to take place, also due to suspensions of the top-flight due to fears of fan violence.
The Egyptian Football Association has decided that it is time for fans to be given the chance to return to the stadium in large numbers for the crucial World Cup qualifier against great rivals Ghana in November, as the match will have an important impact on the qualification group.
Egypt are in Group E of the qualifiers along with Ghana, DR Congo and Uganda.
In their opening World Cup qualifier, Hector Cuper’s team beat DR Congo 2-1 away in Kinshasa for an excellent start to the group stage of the qualifying campaign, earning them two-point lead in the group following Ghana’s 0-0 draw at home against Uganda.
Fans to attend in search of World Cup return
As only the group winners earn a spot at the showpiece tournament in Russia, the Egyptians are determined to make the most of their home games in order to have the best chance of securing qualification and a return to the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
The 50,000 fans are expected to pack the stadium in Alexandria for the match, creating an intimidating atmosphere for the visiting Ghanaians.
The Egyptian authorities have also decided to allow 40,000 fans to attend the CAF Champions League final second leg at Cairo’s International Stadium, giving Egyptian finalists Zamalek an important advantage when they host South African club Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday October 23.
The South Africans won the first leg of the final 3-0, so the return leg will need to be something special from the Egyptian club in order to turn around that deficit.