World Cup

Will Egypt & Algeria be granted World Cup play-off replays? Reasons for FIFA requests explained

21:53 EAT 09/04/2022
Mohamed Salah, Egypt 2022
Two African nations that missed out on spots at Qatar 2022 have lodged official appeals with world football’s governing body

When the final five places available to African nations at World Cup 2022 were dished out, Egypt and Algeria were among those to be left empty-handed.

Both had made their way to the CAF play-offs, but suffered painful setbacks in two-legged encounters to leave them among those being forced to watch on from afar when the global showpiece heads to Qatar.

Neither country is accepting their fate without a fight, though, with both lodging appeals to FIFA in which replays of their most recent fixtures are being demanded. Why is that the case and what will happen next? GOAL takes a look…

Will Egypt & Algeria be granted World Cup play-off replays?

Egypt were the first to lodge an official complaint with FIFA after suffering more penalty shootout pain against Senegal – with that setback coming on the back of an Africa Cup of Nations final defeat to the same opponents.

The Pharaohs had entered the second leg of a heavyweight encounter holding a narrow 1-0 lead, but conceded a fourth-minute own goal of the tie as the contest eventually went all the way to spot-kicks.

Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah had several lasers aimed at his face when preparing to step up from 12 yards – with his effort eventually sailing high over the crossbar – while Egypt’s team bus was attacked prior to the game and racist banners were displayed inside and outside of the stadium.

A statement from the Egyptian FA read: “The Egyptian Football Association have lodged a formal complaint against its Senegalese counterpart to the match observer, the security official, CAF, and FIFA, before the start of the match between the two teams.

“The Egyptian team was subjected to racism after the appearance of offensive banners in the stands aimed at the players, specifically Mohamed Salah.

“Moreover, the Senegalese fans terrorised the Egyptian players by throwing bottles and stones at them during the warm-up, as well as attacking the Egyptian team bus, which caused glass shattering and some injuries, which was documented with pictures and videos attached to the complaint.”

On the same evening, Algeria also missed out on qualification for World Cup 2022 by the narrowest of margins.

They had also led into the second leg of their clash with Cameroon, but saw Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting restore parity before Islam Slimani had two goals disallowed.

Ahmed Touba thought he had booked tickets to Qatar when netting in extra-time, but Karl Toko-Ekambi found the target in the fourth minute of stoppage-time to send the Indomitable Lions through.

Algeria were also left feeling wronged, particularly by the match officials on display, and sent an appeal of their own to world football’s governing body.

Their statement read: “FAF officially lodges an appeal with FIFA against the scandalous arbitration which distorted the result of the match.

“We are determined to use all the legally permitted votes to have their rights restored and to replay the match under conditions guaranteeing the honesty and partiality of the arbitration.”

When will Egypt & Algeria get a response from FIFA?

Egypt and Algeria are yet to receive an official response to their appeals, with FIFA still mulling things over.

It is expected that definitive decisions will be made by the end of April, with everybody needing to know where they stand.

The draw for the finals in Qatar has already been made, with group-stage fixtures being lined up.

Senegal are due to face the host nation, Ecuador and the Netherlands in their section, while Cameroon have been pooled with Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia.

If no alterations are made to that schedule, then the likes of Salah – who is already 29 years of age – will have to wait until the World Cup heads to North and Central America in 2026 for their next opportunity to rub shoulders with the global elite.