Pre-match Khartoum heating up
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Slogans and partisan chants rang out all night in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, ahead of Wednesday’s much anticipated World Cup qualification play-off between Egypt and Algeria.
Slogans and partisan chants were ringing out in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, ahead of Wednesday’s much anticipated World Cup qualification play-off between Egypt and Algeria.
Thousands of football fans have flooded into Khartoum, a city little used to hosting events of such international scope. The stadium has a capacity of 41,000 spectators, but authorities have limited ticket sales to 35,000 for security reasons. Egypt and Algeria have each been allocated 9,000 seats for the game.
The stadium where the crucial game will take place
Algerian supporters arrive in town
"Most Sudanese are rooting for Egypt"
Video by Alaa Mageed.
"Strong police presence in Khartoum has dissuaded potential hooligans"Alaa Mageed is studying French at the University of Khartoum. She is a football fan.
The streets were full of football fans last night, chanting in support of their team until the early hours in the morning. There were Egyptians and Algerians, but above all Sudanese. Most Sudanese support Egypt because they are our direct neighbours and there are many Egyptians working in Sudan.
Until Saturday the city was mostly decked with Algerian flags because the Fennec supporters arrived before those of the Pharaohs, and they brought hundreds of flags and banners with them. They have been ready and waiting at the stadium since this morning!
Egyptians began arriving only yesterday, but immediately began draping their Eagle-decked banners all over the city. Both flags are on sale everywhere. However, the majority of Egyptian supporters will fly into Khartoum airport only this evening, right before the game.
There have already been a few clashes between rival supporters. But strong police presence in Khartoum seems to have dissuaded potential hooligans. During the game, Egyptian and Algerian supporters will be separated by security forces. They will also enter and exit the stadium though separate doors. "