Egypt football is considered the most popular sport here. Such football clubs as Zamalek and Al Ahli are quite popular in Africa and the Middle East. It is known that in January 2006, Alexandria was among the three cities where the African Cup of the Nation was held, the online broadcasts of which were watched all over the world. Egypt won the cup too. This was reported online results that fans could watch during the games.
Egyptian Premier League is the main championship of Egypt in football, which runs through the system autumn-winter. All sixteen teams in two rounds compete with each other, after which the tournament tables report the results of the past tournaments. Interestingly, there are some restrictions in this league: during a match there can be no more than three players on the field who do not have Egyptian citizenship. As the results show, the Egyptian Championship takes the honorable twenty third place (in the ranking of African championships it takes the first place). IN Egyptian Premier League there are such teams as Tanta, Pyramids FC and others.
“Hot” president of Zamalek
Zamalek from Giza is the second club of Egypt on titles. True, over the past 15 seasons, he won only one championship, the main rival Al-Ahly – 11 wins. The reason is President Mortade Mansur. A prosecutor with ambitions politics became insanely popular among the Egyptians back in the 70s, when he denounced corruption in power and was not afraid to talk about it openly. Then he turned into lawyers, defended famous athletes, was elected to parliament, and in 1992 suddenly came to football – became a member of the board of Zamalek. Since then, he has worked in a team in various positions, until in 2014 he came to absolute power, becoming its president.
In these four years, he fired 23 coaches. They were thrown out after five matches, two defeats in ten and won the Cup, winning the championship. Egyptians, Portuguese, Brazilians, Scots suffered from Mansur, but most of all – Mohamed Salah. Not a football player, but a Zamalek coach with the same name. After another resignation, he was acting five times, did not lose a single match, but never became the main one. The last feature of the president is a contract with Christian Gross. In May, the ex-coach of Tottenham signed it for two years, was introduced as a new but temporary coach (no longer Salah) won the Cup semi-finals and Mansur tore off the just-signed agreement.
In addition to changing coaches, Mortada likes to talk about leaving the club from the championship. For four years, Zamalek threatened to withdraw from the tournament three times. Each time the president remained displeased with judging, demanded the disqualification of the referee or the entire committee and promised to expose the corruption there. Requirements were never met, Zamalek continued to play in the league, and Mansur just kicked out another coach. Last year, he announced that he was running for president of the country. Egypt was lucky – in January 2018, Mansour withdrew his candidacy.
Tragedy in Port Said
In the history of Egypt, football championships in it did not play out to the end or did not start at all eight times. In 1990, the preparation of the national team for the World Championship prevented, in 2013 – the revolution, and a year earlier – the tragedy at the stadium in Port Said. On February 1, the city on the Suez Canal shuddered – 74 victims, more than 500 people were injured.
The massacre began after the final whistle. Al-Ahli lost to the local Al-Masri, thousands of home fans jumped out onto the field and drove the players and coaches from Cairo to the locker rooms. When they disappeared under the stands, the crowd switched to the guest sector. With knives, stones, bottles and bats, residents of Port Said rushed into the opponent’s fans and massacred. Police watched from the side. When they asked her to at least open the gates so that the guests would jump out of the stadium, the military did not interfere either. So many died of suffocation, leaning on the lattice and expecting that now it will still open.
In Egypt, they are still arguing about the causes of the tragedy. Some say that it happened for natural reasons – the inhabitants of poor Port Said historically did not like the rich capital and fought with them more than once, simply with less serious consequences. Plus, at the February game, the Al-Ahli fans provoked themselves – for example, they hung a banner that there were no men in the city with eggs, only plastic women. Another version is to blame policy. Al-Ahli is an active participant in the revolution in Tahrir Square. Fans even opposed the ousted President Mubarak, but then did not support the new government. According to some locals, by the inaction of the police, the ruling elite avenged Al-Ahli for insults and opposition activities. Deaths continued even five years after the tragedy. The court has several times revised sentences convicted in this case, changing the terms and refusing the death penalty. Today, 11 participants in the events have been sentenced to death. Initially, there were 21 of them, but after the prison was stormed by relatives and two killed police officers, the court commuted the sentence.
Ismaily is Egyptian football team, established in 1924. The club is based in the small town of Ismailia, after which it is named. Ismaily is a mid-level club. They perform in the elite division of the championship of Egypt. They won the national championship three times – in 1967, 1991 and 2002. Among other things, they are a two-time winner of the Cup of the country. They won this title in 1997 and 2000 goals. In 1969, Ismaily won the CAF Champions League and became the first club from Egypt and North Africa, which achieved such success. In 2003, the club almost repeated that success, reaching the final of the tournament. There they lost to Enymba, a Nigeria club. In recent years, the team gained momentum and is among the best championship clubs in Egypt. One way or another, they have not won titles in the past ten years. Only in the season 2007/08 the club became the silver medalist of the championship.
Among the famous people of Ismaily are Ahmed Assan, Ahmed Fathi, John Utaka and Draman Traore. They play at the Ismaili Stadium stadium which seats sixteen thousand spectators. Club president is Nasr Abo al-Hassan. Since last year, Mahmoud Haber has been working as a coach. In the last season, Ismaily finished fifth. The home form of the club is yellow-blue. Guest on the contrary consists mainly of white.
ENPPI is an Egyptian club from Cairo, which was founded in 1980 by an Egyptian oil and gas company. The abbreviation in the name of the team now stands for “Engineering for the oil and process industry” (“Engineering for the Petroleum and Process Industries”). For the first time in the top division, the team came out in 2002. In 2005 and 2011, ENPPI won the national cup. The club’s home stadium is called “Petro Sport” and seats 16,000 spectators. The average attendance of the arena is around 3,000. It is noteworthy that the team is based in Cairo while the head office is in Nasr City, and the stadium in New Cairo.
Petrojet is a professional football team from the city of Suez. Is the owner of the bronze medals of the championship of Egypt 2008/09 seasons. Petrojet is named after the Egyptian Petrojet oil company. Based in the city of Suez, which is located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The club played in the lower divisions of the championship for a long time, but in the 2006/07 season it advanced into the Egyptian football elite, where it immediately became one of the best clubs. For several seasons, Petrojet was ranked no lower than fifth. In 2009, the team completely finished the season in third place in the standings. In the Premier League of Egypt, the club played six times. In the Cup of the country, he participated seven times, twice reaching the quarterfinals and once – the semi-finals. At the international level, Petrojet participated in the CAF Confederations Cup.
The home shape “Petrojet” is blue with red stripes. Guest kit is white and black. Club coaches were Fathi Mabruk Mokhtar Mokhtar, Helmi Tulan and Mohamed Omar. Famous players were Mahmoud Abdel Hakim, Alaa Ibrahim, Mohamed Shaaban and Walid Saliman. The club plays at the Suez Stadium Stadium, which seats twenty-five thousand fans. Azmed Reda Morsi is in office. The coach is Taha Basri. One of the club’s main rivals is El Entag El Harby.
Wadi Degla is an Egyptian football club based in the capital, Cairo. In the 2009/10 season, for the first time in history, he was able to join the Egyptian Premier League. Then the team succeeded thanks to the victory over Al-Sekka al-Hadid in the final round. That match ended with a score of 3: 1. Thus, the club spent just one season to get into the elite of Egyptian football. Al-Mokavlun al-Arab in 1981 achieved the same achievement. The team is constantly competing with the club Smouha. Wadi Degla has the largest and highest quality football academy for training young players. A similar scale has a junior composition “Mimozas”. The club has close ties with the Belgian Liers, Arsenal from London and several other foreign clubs. Bertrand Bong, Abdel Hamid Ahmed, Ahmed Mustafa, Mustafa Shebeita and Francis Kasonde are among the top players on the team. Now the team is coached by Walter Mace. The president of the club is Magid Samid. The club’s home uniform is yellow with a black pattern, leggings and shorts. The guest is made in white colors, but also with a black pattern.
It is difficult to say why this happened, why football came into our life so much. After all, there is a basketball that is wildly revered in America, there is a cult in India like field hockey, and yet there, and there, is football on the first roles. Maybe the key lies in the democratic nature of football, in that it can play everything from small to large, on any more or less flat ground, from morning to evening, regardless of wealth, because the equipment is the simplest, even barefoot.
Most likely the factor of democracy is decisive when we talk about football in Africa, not the richest continent of the planet. Africa is crazy about football – what can I say, the World and European Championships are held once every 4 years; the African Championship is every 2. And imagine three tournaments in a row – in 2006, the 2008th and 2010 champions of Africa became the Egyptian team. If you knew what was going on at the moments of victories in the country. This is some kind of general insanity. And if you add to this the African-Muslim excitement, then you get some kind of explosive mixture of delight and exaltation. You will become the best friend of a taxi driver in Cairo, if you ask him to take you to the central football arena of the country, where one of the leading clubs in Egypt, Cairo Al Ahli, plays. And if you also call the top scorer of the Egyptian Championship, Ahmed Mecca, then the taxi driver may not charge you any fare.
Everybody loves football in Egypt – from young to old. And if your favorite team wins on the streets of large cities, one can observe a general insanity: the joyful and wild exclamations of local fans, along with continuous signals from cars proudly hung with the national flag do not fall silent until morning. Actually, football is so beautiful; it does not require any additional words. You will be bored of lying on the beach, find a small football patch somewhere nearby. On it the boys will be already pushed, for the lack of means, with some patchwork similarity of a ball.