Football… or is it Soccer? WHO CARES!

Egypt has recently won the African Cup of Nations! Congratulations!

In what was probably the most watched televised football tournament in this country, Egyptian fans heroically cheered their team on to an ultimate victory over the Ivory Coast’s team (after 2 regular halves, 2 extra halves and ultimately 8 penalty kicks). We won, through penalty kicks, 1-0.

For the uninformed amongst you, 1-0 is the magical score that is automatically given to any two teams who slug it out in a grueling, nerve-wrenching penalty fest.

I actually went to the football stadium and watched that match. Hana and I had great seats! 2nd class tickets which placed us almost exactly in-line with the half-pitch line. We cheered and screamed and whistled along with over 75,000 other fans (more like the 30 sitting in our direct vicinity, but there were 75,000 fans in that stadium, not counting Egyptian security forces, who I estimate (very roughly and tentatively) numbered 281,938. Plus or minus 5… and the creepy looking guy two seats down from me.

Yes Egypt! Yes! Yes!

It would have been a memorable experience BUT…

But the Egyptian authorities, media, television, sport-casters, stadium administrators contributed to corrupting an event involving the most popular sport today.

1. The tickets were sold sporadically and were difficult to obtain.

2. There was supposedly food outlets at the Stadium. I haven’t tried the stuff personally, but all accounts place it at a minimum of horrendous. They wouldnt allow people to bring in water or soda-cans or what not.

3. Even more, they wouldnt allow people to bring in lighters (Think: these lighters will be used to light up large amounts of TNT or dynamite and blow up the stadium)

4. The doors were closed VERY early on, and they even refused to allow people (who had tickets and my brother and friends were part of this group of people) to enter a total of three hours before the match.

5. Black Market prices were mind-boggling. That’s alright though, scalping always occurs and its an almost perfect market in terms of supply and demand. What I do not appreciate is Police Officers busting the scalpers and then selling the tickets on the Black Market themselves!

6. Our football team sucked! If you’re religious, then it was God’s Grace that gave them that victory. Yet the Egyptian people are going on and on and on about how amazing they are!

7. Of course, the main reason they do this is because all the Sports commentators are rambling on about how amazing they were/are.

8. The reason they’re doing that is because they want to suck up to the Egyptian Football Association. Favours, money, recommendations, jobs… I dont know what they want, but they want something.

9. Why is that President Mubarak grants the football team 3 Million pounds and the very next day sugar prices increase by 1 L.E. per Kilogram?

10. Why on earth is President Mubarak being hailed and thanked everytime the victory is mentioned on the radio or on television?

11. The standard authoritarian rhetoric goes heavily into effect; President Mubarak is being called the father of the Egyptian people and the sports commentator who was commenting on the Final game was talking more about how Mubarak is such a nice, giving and amazing person than on the fact that the football team won!!!

12. Why are newspapers hailing ‘The Pharoahs’ in their headlines, yet forgetting all about the ferry incident where over 1,000 people died? It stinks and reeks of corruption and bribery and its all but forgotten by the Media!

13. Why do the Egyptian people stay on the streets of Cairo until the early hours of the morning celebrating the victory and yet not one word is raised about all the problems that face us!

14. Why do these uncivilized bastards block whole streets in an already extremely populated and grid-locked city where vehicle traffic is slowly choking the life out of every citizen just because your football team won a tournament which really means jack shit?!?!

There’s so much more to say yet it’s so intertwined and I will have to digress to everything corrupt and rotten about this country that this post would never stop.

What’s wrong with you Egypt?!

By all that’s holy, what is wrong with the Egyptians?!


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