FIFA moves CAR game


The Central African Republic were to host Madagascar in Bangui on Saturday in the first of a two-legged preliminary round tie, with the return in the Malagasy capital Antananarivo on October 13.

But both matches will now be played in Madagascar as the Central African Republic have had to cede their home game.

Armed gangs have ransacked dozens of compounds belonging to international organisations since violence flared last weekend and machete-wielding militia were blocking roads, humanitarian workers said.

More than 42 000 people have been displaced by the latest violence – the worst the capital has seen this year – many of them in urgent need of shelter and basic healthcare, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement earlier this week.

The Central African Republic were also forced to cede home advantage during the last World Cup qualifying campaign when rebel attacks on Bangui led to the overthrow of the government in 2013.

There are two other African countries who cannot play their World Cup qualifiers at home next week.

Somalia continue to enter the World Cup preliminaries but are again forced to host their home tie on neutral territory because of the long standing conflict in the horn of Africa. They last had a home game in Mogadishu in October 1986.

Somalia host Niger in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia on Friday in the first leg of their preliminary round tie with the return in Niamey four days later. 

Sierra Leone, still bared from hosting matches because of scares over the Ebola virus, are away in the first leg of their tie against Chad on Saturday and then host the return on Oct. 13 in Port Harcourt in Nigeria.

It is the second time the Sierra Leone use the venue for one of their qualifiers. Last month they held African champions the Ivory Coast to a goalless draw there in a 2017 African Nations Cup qualifier.