Monday, June 24, 2019

AFCON 2019 : Great opening ceremony and humble football match

The African Cup of Nations 2019 kicked off in Cairo in a very beautiful short opening ceremony.
It was a short, elegant and beautiful show aside from that dancing lady at the start.
Part of the AFCON ceremony  in Egypt "Twitter"
Part of the ceremony "Twitter" 
That show highlighted Egypt’s identity from ancient Egypt to Islamic Egypt to African Egypt to Modern Egypt without big dancing shows.
The start of the show "Twitter" 
Crazy elegant fire shows  in the inauguration of  AFCON19
Crazy elegant fire shows  in the inauguration of  AFCON19
"Fox Sports" 
African identity is celebrated in an elegant way

You can watch it here from CAF’s official TV channel on YouTube.

Nevertheless, in a very Egyptian tradition, there was a technical problem that created a little controversy in the opening ceremony.

While inaugurating the tournament, Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi appeared to speak in a strange way due to some technical problem in the sound system that was heard in both

Quickly some Pro-regime media figures accused Qatar-owned BeIN network which airs the tournament exclusively on Nile Sat of manipulating the audio so Sisi would appear speaking strangely.
There are unconfirmed reports that the so-called MB sound engineer was arrested!! 

The people who attended the opening ceremony including Sisi’s supporters themselves say that the president’s voice was not altered by the network, this is how they heard it inside the stadium.

It is also worth to mention that BeIN and its correspondents are not the ones that operate the stadium or even control the video feed, the video feed signal is sent by the stadium.
It was a problem in the sound system itself.

FYI I followed the opening ceremony on BeIN HD Max 2 channel and I saw how the Qatari TV host in Doha and guests from football analysts including Mohamed Abu Trika as well their correspondents in Cairo praised the Egyptian government on how it organized the tournament and the opening ceremony in that short time.

To refute any kind of rumors, Sisi appeared following the game between Egypt and Zimbabwe speaking shortly on Egypt’s State TV.  

From what I understand the opening ceremony had several Egyptian and foreigner directors under the supervision of retired footballer Mohamed Fadl aka Modi Fadl.

The only thing lame in the Opening Ceremony was that song by Egyptian Hakim, Nigerian Femi Kuti, and Ivorian Dobet Gnahore. 

Produced by Tamer Morsi of Egyptian Media, the song “Metgamaeen” {Together} whose lyrics in Arabic, English and French was chosen as the official anthem of AFCON 2019.

It did not catch up with me as well as others. For me and others, Amr Diab’s “Africa” hit song in the opening of All Africa Games in Cairo in September 1991 is better thousand times despite it has no African beats and so.
For Hakim and friends’ luck, Diab relaunched the song once again with a new remix in a Vodafone ad.

New generations sing now “بالحب اتجمعنا” and I can’t blame them.

Now all that drama, comedy and beautiful opening was overshadowed by a true dull football match starring our national football team !!
I mean the second half everybody was sleeping whether the players or the fans.
Fairly enough we are not speaking about the hardcore football fans that can stay up 12 hours cheering for the team from their hearts.
We are speaking about Middle and Upper Middle-Class football fans who can afford the tickets that start from LE 150 and know how to book them online.
Many of those fans include women and children who had been in the stadium for at least 8 hours in a very hot day.
Some say that we should judge the national team in its first game.

Anyhow aside the dull performance of the Egyptian national team except for Salah, there were very interesting moments in the game that stunned everyone.

Moment number #1 at 20 min of the football match, the fans in Cairo stadium chanted “In heaven dear martyr” “ فى الجنة يا شهيد” to commemorate the death of Zamalek SC fans who died in a stampede in February 2015.
Moment number #2 at 22 min of the football match, the fans in Cairo stadium chanted “Oh Abu Trika” “ ابو تريكة” dedicating this moment to the beloved retired footballer Mohamed Abu Trieka who is currently in self-exile following being accused of terrorism in Egypt.

I do not know how many people chanted for Abu Trika but there were many people everywhere, they were also celebs who were scared to say that they chanted Trika’s name like for instance Multi-billionaire Naguib Sawiris. For me, it is a big act of defiance.

There are unconfirmed unofficial reports that some boys were arrested for chanting Trika's name

Other celebs on the social media were not brave like Sawiris, maybe because they are not that rich.
Famous comedian Mohamed Henndy tweeted the word Abu Trika during the football match and in no time he was attacked by Pro-regime supporters online. He was forced to remove the tweet and ironically it caused the anger of Abu Trika’s fans who considered him a coward.

We are back to Pro-regime supporters who are attacking anyone trying to defend the popular footballer.

Moment number #3 at 74 min of the football match, the fans in Cairo stadium chanted once again “In heaven dear martyr” “فى الجنة يا شهيد” dedicating it this time to the 74 Ahly SC fans who were killed in the incident of Port Said stadium in February 2012.

Egypt remembers as it seems.

Okay, we will wait and say if the boys will escape the World Cup 2018 curse or not.

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