Egypt have confirmed the 40,000 capacity Al Defaa Al Gawi Military Stadium in Cairo as the match venue for the return fixture of the 2014 FIFA World Cup playoffs against Ghana on November 19, GHANAsoccernet.com can exclusively reveal.
The Egyptian FA had remained evasive on naming the match venue due to the volatile political tension in the North African country.
But Ghana’s leading football website, GHANAsocernet.com can reveal that the crucial return leg will be played at the 40,000 capacity stadium.
Sports minister Taher Abu Zeid confirmed moments ago after forcing through a petition which got security clearance from defence minister Abdul Fattah El Sisi on Wednesday.
The Egyptian FA failed to meet FIFA’s deadline of deciding the dates and venues for their matches last Friday after pleading with the world’s governing body for more time due to the political turmoil in their country.
The security stuation has heightened after a Zamalek fan was killed following clashes between ultras and security forces outside the club’s headquarters last week.
Zamalek’s Ultras White Knights staged a fierce protest calling for the immediate resignation of the Mamdouh Abbas-led board, in the wake of a thumping 4-2 defeat to Ahli.
As they attempted to break into the club, minor scuffles occurred between the angry fans and security forces, who were believed to have fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse the enraged crowds.
Even though no casualties were officially announced during the heated incidents, an ultras fan – named Amr Hussein – turned out to be left gravely injured as he died days later.
It remains to be seen how the ultras will react amid their firm stance to see Abbas, who declared he will not be stepping down, abandon his post as Zamalek chairman.
The Ghana FA is yet to notify FIFA if they will feel safe to play at such an explosive place.
The Pharaohs are eyeing their first World Cup appearance since 1990, while Ghana are seeking to reach the tournament for the third consecutive time, having reached the quarter finals in their last appearance in 2010.