FIFA has banned Egypt from playing in Cairo for two World Cup qualifiers after fans attacked Algeria’s team before a match.
FIFA ruled Tuesday that Egypt must stage its first two home matches in qualifying for the 2014 finals at least 100 kilometers from the capital.
FIFA’s disciplinary panel said Egypt’s federation "failed to take all the necessary security precautions to ensure the safety of the Algerian delegation."
It also fined the Egyptian federation 100,000 Swiss francs ($88,000; €71,000).
"The sanctions are normal and expected,” Hazem Al-Hawary, board member of the Egyptian Football Association told Daily News Egypt.
“We have previously said that they will take the form of a fine and a number of games without fans or outside Cairo. However, it could have been less severe."
According to Al-Hawary, playing two games out of Cairo will not affect the national team’s chances in qualification, since fans outside Cairo are more eager to see and support the team. It won’t be the first time to play in Portsaid or Alexandria, he added.
The meeting between the north African rivals last November was predicted to be volatile. Egypt had to win to keep its own qualification hopes alive and prevent Algeria reaching the finals in South Africa.
On arriving in Cairo, Algeria’s team bus was being driven from the airport when it came under attack from fans hurling rocks. Three Algerian players and the team’s goalkeeping coach sustain injuries.
"The bus windows were smashed and four members of the Algerian delegation, including three players, were injured," FIFA said in a statement.
Security and order in Cairo International Stadium — which had a declared attendance of 75,000 — "were not guaranteed," FIFA said.
"An excessive number of spectators were granted access to the stadium, and the entrances and stairways were obstructed. Furthermore, at the end of the match, the bus of the Algerian delegation was detained for over 45 minutes."
Egypt won the match 2-0, getting a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time to force a playoff in neutral Sudan the following week.
The incidents and subsequent row over the play-off triggered a diplomatic spat between the two countries at the time.
Algeria then won 1-0 to reach the 2010 finals. It will play England, the United States and Slovenia in Group C.
"We have filed a complaint against Algeria based on Sudan’s events,” Al-Hawary said, “And we were told that they would investigate Algeria’s complaint first then ours; let’s hope it is true."
"Those criticizing the Egyptian file have never seen it; it is a powerful one," he added. –Additional reporting by Daily News Egypt’s Tamim Elyan
Hundreds of Egyptians gather during a protest on Nov. 19, 2009 near the Algerian embassy in Cairo following the violence that broke-off between the fans after the play-off game in Sudan. (AFP PHOTO/AHMED ABDEL MAGEED)