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Verbal war over Egypt-Algeria tie

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The two sides are set to meet in the Sudanese capital Khartoum

The head of the Algerian football federation has blamed his Egyptian counterpart for violence at Saturday's World Cup game in Cairo.

At least 32 people were hurt following the match, and the next day Egyptian businesses in Algiers were ransacked.

Egypt has stepped up its complaints about the attacks.

After Egypt's 2-0 victory left their group deadlocked, the two countries face a play-off on Wednesday in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

Fifteen thousand Sudanese police are being deployed to prevent trouble.

There will be strict segregation of fans inside the stadium.

The capacity has been cut by 6,000 - to 35,000 - and supporters of each side will get 9,000 seats each.

High stakes

Before the Cairo game, three Algerian players were injured when their team bus was pelted with stones.

Algeria's coach, Rabah Saadane, has claimed his team's defeat was due to injuries sustained by his players.

He is the origin of all the events that occurred including the barbaric aggression
Mohammed Raouraoua
Head of Algerian football federation

The head of the Algerian football federation, Mohammed Raouraoua, said his Egyptian counterpart, Samir Zaher, was to blame for the trouble.

"He is the origin of all the events that occurred, including the barbaric aggression that injured... our players," Mr Raouraoua said.

But Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit has in turn told Algeria it must confront what he called the "saboteurs" who have attacked Egyptian businesses in Algiers.

Thousands of fans from both countries have already arrived in Khartoum for the play-off, arranged at a neutral venue by football's governing body Fifa after the teams could not be separated at the top of their group.

Sudanese officials say they are expecting 48 flights from Algeria and 18 from Egypt. A further 2,000 Egyptian fans are expected to travel by road.

Hotels in Khartoum are already booked out ahead of the game, and the authorities have set up two camp sites for rival fans several miles apart.

The stakes for each country are high. The last time either team was in the World Cup finals was 1990 for Egypt, and 1986 for Algeria.

There is a history of trouble between supporters of the two teams. Riots broke out in Egypt in 1989 after an Egyptian win in Cairo.



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