Zaher denies World Cup expulsion claims

Hatem Maher
2 Min Read

CAIRO: Egyptian FA president Samir Zaher denied Algerian claims that world governing body FIFA has threatened to expel the Pharaohs from the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

Algerian Football Federation chief Mohamed Raouraoua was quoted as saying on Tuesday that Egypt would not be able to feature in the upcoming qualifiers if they could not safeguard the visiting teams.

FIFA ordered Egypt to play their first two home games in the next World Cup qualifiers at least 100km outside Cairo after Algeria’s team bus was stoned before a heated clash in November last year.

"The statement of FIFA regarding the sanctions they imposed on us did not include such warnings," Zaher told on Wednesday, referring to Raouraoua’s comments.

"None of FIFA officials implied that we could be expelled from the next qualifiers, this is totally untrue."

The Egyptian FA was heavily criticized by local media for not doing enough to prevent FIFA from punishing the country.

Zaher leapt to the defense of the association, playing down the impact of the Cairo ban that Egypt got.

He was unhappy that local media published Raouraoua’s comments without ensuring their credibility.

"The Egyptian newspapers should have contacted the Egyptian FA or read FIFA’s statement well before publishing those groundless words," Zaher added.

Egypt-Algeria ties remain strained despite some recent reconciliation efforts.

Mohamed Abou-Trika, Egypt and Ahly’s playmaker, said he was ready to visit Algeria and cheer them at the World Cup.

Algeria have reached the football’s most prestigious tournament for the first time since 1986 after beating Egypt 1-0 in a playoff game in Sudan.

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