The Egyptian National Team was handed a boost for their World Cup hopes after the Egyptian Football Association granted Bob Bradley’s request to play their playoff match against Ghana in Cairo and in front of fans.
The match is set for November 19th and will be the second leg of the competition after the October 15th opener in Ghana.
Following last week’s draw for the African World Cup playoffs, Bradley requested the home leg be played in nation’s capital and that fans be allowed to attend.
“We would love to play in Cairo,” Bradley said after the draw. “That is the dream of the team.”
That dream will now be realized as the EFA slated the match to be played in Cairo’s ’30 June Stadium’. It’s been two years since the Pharaohs last played in the capital where they defeated Niger 3-0. That victory, in October 2011, came four months before the infamous Port Said league match that left more than 70 fans dead.
Since that match Cairo has come undone through political uproar and violence. The unrest prompted the EFA to schedule the national team’s matches outside of the capital city, in places like Alexandria and the seaside resort of El Gouna.
Egypt not only held an unbeaten record at those locations but throughout the entire African qualifying process, winning all six of their group stage games. Now, faced with a playoff against one of the best teams on the continent, Bradley’s squad will return home to the 30,000 capacity seat stadium, which the EFA promises will be full.
During his time in charge of the US Men’s National Team, Bradley’s squad were knocked out of the 2010 World Cup by Ghana in the last 16 in South Africa.
The first legs of the Confederation of African Football World Cup playoffs will take place on October 11th-15th with the second legs taking place from November 15th-19th. Below is the entire playoff fixture list:
Ivory Coast vs. Senegal
Ethiopia vs. Nigeria
Tunisia vs. Cameroon
Ghana vs. Egypt
Burkina Faso vs. Algeria