30 000 fans for Warriors match

HARARE - Despite security instability currently prevailing in strife-torn Egypt, the country’s interior ministry has agreed to allow fans to attend the World Cup qualifier between Zimbabwe and the Pharaohs in Alexandria next week.

Security instability has dominated the North African nation recently, especially since the verdict in the Port Said trial on 9 March. The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) headquarters and the Police Club in Cairo were torched by anonymous rioters after the verdict.

The Egyptian interior ministry had last week ordered local club Zamalek to move their African Champions League match against DR Congo’s Vita Club from Cairo to Alexandria.

Zamalek won the match 1-0 with a small number of supporters allowed to attend the match.

According to reports from Egypt, the interior ministry has agreed to allow up to 30,000 fans to attend the match despite security concerns in the country.

Egypt's right wing-back Ahmed Elmohamady has rallied Egyptian fans to flock to Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium and cheer on their team against the Warriors.

The Pharaohs star hopes that "30 000 supporters" will turn up for their upcoming World Cup qualifier match.

Elmohamady, who plays for English second-division side Hull City on loan from Sunderland, was called up for the match alongside other 11 foreign-based players in an experienced squad announced by American coach Bob Bradley.

"We are about to make the dream come true and we just ask for the support of the fans in the next game as we used to play outside the country or on our soil in empty stands,'' the 25-year-old player told his official website.

Egypt are currently leading Group G in the World Cup qualifiers with six points from two games, three ahead of second-placed Guinea. Zimbabwe and Mozambique have one point each.

Bradley has vowed to secure Egypt their first ticket to the most prestigious global competition since 1990, despite the team's poor run in friendly games.

The Pharaohs lost 3-0 to Ghana, before losing 4-2 to Ivory Coast and a 2-1 loss to Chile. The Egyptians also lost 3-1 to Qatar in their last friendly match.

''Bob is doing good job here and he is working on his objective and we have to back him because his success is ours," said Elmohamady.

''Egypt deserve some good news and we as players are doing our best to make the people happy. I hope to see more than 30,000 spectators in the stadium in our next match," he concluded.

Elmohamady has recently delivered some impressive performances with Hull City at the English Championship. He is lauded for his darting runs down the right flank and pinpoint crosses.

Egypt’s last competitive home match was against the Central African Republic, also in Alexandria, and they were beaten 3-2 in a 2013 Nations Cup qualifier.

Both the 2014 World Cup game against Mozambique and the 2013 Nations Cup qualifier against the Central African Republic were played in empty stadiums with the public barred from watching the games.

Zimbabwe had asked for their qualifier to be held outside Egypt due the current unrest in the country but their request was turned down. - Godknows Matarutse

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