(Reuters) - Egypt have been asked to provide security guarantees following Ghana’s request to move next month’s World Cup playoff out of Cairo because of safety fears.
FIFA have responded to Ghana’s request to relocate the match to a neutral venue by giving the Egyptian Football Association an October 28 deadline to provide comprehensive security assurances for the second leg of the playoff tie between the countries. The aggregate winner will qualify for next year’s finals in Brazil.
FIFA said they would consider switching the venue for the November 19 match from Cairo if they are not satisfied with the security plans.
“Although all our hopes and wishes sincerely expect that the security situation (in Egypt) will go back to normal in a definite manner we would need to consider alternatives in the event that this were not the case in November,” FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke wrote in a letter to both associations. Ghana released it to reporters on Saturday.
“We will this keep monitoring the situation.”
Ghana asked FIFA to move the venue because of the political unrest in the North African country.
Egypt has been thrown into turmoil by the military’s ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on July 3 following mass protests against his rule, a move that prompted his Muslim Brotherhood movement to organize daily demonstrations in cities across the country.
“We are seriously concerned about the security and safety of our delegation and spectators if the match would be played in Egypt as events in the country pointedly indicate that our delegation could be exposed to danger as the violence and insecurity in the country continues relentlessly,” the Ghana Football Association wrote to FIFA on Monday.
Ghana host the first leg of the playoff on Tuesday in Kumasi.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town, editing by Pritha Sarkar