Sunday, January 13, 2019

Egypt hosts 2019 African Nations Cup : Time for the fans to return to the stadium for once and all

Last Tuesday was a very active loaded day when it comes to sports news or to be specific football news in Egypt.

First of all, Egypt won hosting rights for the 2019 African Nations Cup Championship "CAN 2019".
This is big news and actually, it was the ONLY news of the day.

The 2019 African Nations Cup “AFCON” was originally going to be in Cameroon but in December CAF stripped of the rights from the central African country because of the delays in the preparations for the cup as well the political instabilities in the country.
CAN 2019 in Egypt
I hope that is not the final logo of the tournament "EF" 
Egypt and South Africa competed to host the 2019 AFCON in the same month.
As far as I have read Egypt got all the votes except one that had gone to South Africa.

Egypt hosted the African Nations Cup four times before. Once in 1959 while the second time was in 1974 and the third was in 1986.
The last one was in 2006. You can read more about the history of the African Nations Cup in Egypt in Ahram Online.
Needless to say, the African Nations Cup in Egypt is the perfect kind of distraction to pass politically something like constitutional amendments for instance.

Personally, when I read the news in December I was quite amazed about how bold the Egyptian government is because in the end how could you organize a championship like that when you have another premier league without Egyptian football fans attending it ??

Egyptian football fans are not allowed the local championship except 30 fans in local games like premier league !!
There is a fear that the football fans especially the sports club hardcore fans “Ultras” will assembly and chant anti-regime chants like in the old days.
There is fear that those Ultras members who played an important role in 25 January revolution will engage in violence or riot against the Egyptian security forces as simple as that
The Egyptian football fans are only allowed regional football matches played in Egypt because the Egyptian government has no say who can attend.

Needless to say, the scene of empty stadiums while footballers playing local games is depressing to the level that we got generation footballers who have not had a chance to play in the presence of thousands screaming in the stadium.

Up till this moment, there are football fans and sports fans associated with the Ultras groups whether Ahlawy or White Knights who are either imprisoned or detained or released pending investigations or trials on charges like “inciting violence”, “joining illegal groups” and “attacking security forces”.

I could not find any exact numbers for the imprisoned and pre-trial detainees from football fans but I know on a monthly basis in the past couple of years, I see the “Freedom_for_Ahly_fans” or “Freedom_for_Siyad El-Moshagheb” in Arabic top trending on Twitter.
Siyad Moshagheb was among the leading figures “Capos” of Zamalek Ultras group “White Knights” and he is serving sentences for God knows what.
I remember reading his name all the time in the news website that he is either being sentenced to a number of years in jail that could make him miss his child whole childhood and at the same time he is being acquitted in several retrials.
I lost counting.

In 2018, Ultras Ahlawy and Ultras White Nights announced that there would have disbanded their groups in May 2018.
Speaking about the African Nations Cup, I can’t ignore how legendary ex-footballer Mohamed Abou Trika who is officially listed as a terrorist in Egypt stood beside his country until it won the hosting right.
Abou Trika who is hailed a living football in Africa and in the world can’t come home. Mohamed Salah aka Mo Salah says that he is the star of all times and yet Pro-regime media still attacks saying that he is a terrorist because he once supported the MB “He is a friend of Mubarak’s sons too especially Alaa Mubarak” and is working in Qatari-owned Bein sports channels.
Mohamed Abou Trika in  2008 CAN
Abou Trika doing his famous airplane celebration move after winning
the 2008 CAN in Cameroon "Reuters" 
I find it so sad that this championship is going to be held in Cairo and Abou Trika won’t attend it live !!
After knowing that we got the hosting rights, people on Twitter demanded that he would be pardoned despite he actually deserves clemency.

Needless to say, the smear campaign against him continues by some people despite the fact that even pro-regime supporters in the football field from former footballers or Egyptian Football Association “EFA” support him and say that he is a great guy.

Either way, good luck to Egypt and our national team in the African Nations Cup which I hope that it is not used politically to pass some wicked some stuff.
I hope also Mohamed Abou Trika returns back as soon as possible to his homeland and to leave the rest of his life freely as a noble gentleman.

1 comment:

  1. Hi!

    Zidane play at Bordeaux. His pass is cool!

    King regards


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