Ghana will play the crucial 2014 World Cup playoff first leg match against Egypt on Tuesday, October 15 at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, the Ghana FA has confirmed.
The decision to switch the date was made by the GFA on Friday morning, hours before FIFA’s deadline for confirmation of dates and venues for the playoffs.
The match was scheduled for October 13 but the decision to bring the match forward has been inspired by a move to give coach Akwasi Appiah more time to work with his full squad before the crunch game.
“Ghana Football Association (GFA) has changed the date for next month’s World Cup playoff against Egypt in Kumasi,” the GFA said in a statement on Friday.
“The first-leg of the clash had been scheduled to be played on Sunday, 13th October, 2013.
“However, the GFA has decided to change the match to Tuesday 15th October, 2013.
“The decision is meant to give Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah more training time with the team before the match in Kumasi.
“It also falls in line with FIFA’s decision of playing the first-leg of the playsoff between 11 and 15 October.”
With many of the Black Stars players plying their trade in Europe, it is feared coach Appiah might not have enough time with his team before the match on the originally fixed date of October 13.
Egypt already have a head start over the Black Stars as they will be moving to camp next week for the crucial match with most of their key players home-based.
FIFA had given all teams competing in the playoffs to confirm dates and venues for their home matches by close of Friday.
The teams in the playoffs were given the option to choose any date within a range of October 11-15.
The Ghana FA have now decided to pick the final date to give the Black Stars more preparation time for the match.
The Ghana FA had earlier sent correspondence to FIFA that the game will be played on October 13 in Kumasi.
The association will now write to FIFA to withdraw the earlier proposed date but will maintain the match venue.
The game will now be played on a Tuesday – a working day in Ghana – against the Pharoahs.
This is probably the first time in Ghanaian football history a game if this huge magnitude is being played on a Tuesday.
The Black Stars are however no strangers of playing on a working day.
Ghana beat Zambia in the last game of the preliminary World Cup qualifying group fixture on a Friday – another working day in Ghana.
The decision was also helped by the fact there is an assured massive support for the Black Stars especially when playing in Kumasi.
A massive crowd is again expected for the crucial match against Egypt on Tuesday, October 15.