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Ghana wants FIFA meeting over Cairo security plans

Gerald Imray, AP Sports Writer

A masked policeman stands guard outside of a police academy compound were the trial of ousted President Mohammed Morsi is held in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 4 2013. Egypt's deposed Islamist president was brought from the secret location of his four-month detention to face trial Monday on charges of incitement of violence and murder. It was Mohammed Morsi's first public appearance since his ouster in a coup on July 3. If convicted, Morsi — Egypt's first freely elected president — could face the death penalty.(AP Photo/Manu Brabo)

Ghana's sports minister requested an urgent meeting with FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke over security plans for the World Cup qualifier against Egypt in Cairo, repeating his country's fears for the safety of traveling players and officials.

In a letter to Valcke, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah said Monday his sports ministry and the Ghana Football Association still had "genuine security concerns" over the Nov. 19 game, which FIFA ruled could go ahead.

Up to 30,000 fans could attend the first international match in Cairo in two years and the first home game involving Egypt with crowd of that size since a riot at a club match in Port Said in 2012 led to the deaths of more than 70.

Ghana's sports ministry said it had accepted FIFA's decision — although it wasn't completely happy with it — but asked for more details on the security guarantees given to FIFA by Egyptian authorities that led the world body to keep the game in Cairo. Ankrah also wanted to know who would be responsible if there were any problems.

"Even though Ghana is ready and willing to play Egypt anywhere, the Ministry of Youth and Sports (would) like to know from FIFA who would be held liable, accountable and responsible in the unfortunate event of any Ghanaian being harmed before, during or after the match," Ankrah wrote.

FIFA said in an email to The Associated Press that "the security guarantees and security plan take into account all the provisions laid down in the FIFA stadium safety and security regulations."


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