egypt vs algeria

copyrite: amun_79 @ photobucket

the insults have been thrown.  the media had done its best to rub it in on the opposing side’s face.  the fans from both sides have been trying their best to deride the other team.  the leaders of both countries had to step in to soothe the unbridled nationalism which could boil over into violence.

yes, it is Egypt’s last qualifying match for World Cup 2010 tomorrow – 14 November 2009.  a last chance for Egypt to reach the pinnacle of international football following a 20-plus year absence.  the Pharaohs will need to win by three clear goals to leapfrog over group leaders, the Desert Foxes, and qualify.  the stadium, thankfully located far from where I live, will be a cauldron of mainly young, male football-obssessed fans baying for Algerian blood.  it could get ugly.

the stage is almost set.  flags of Egypt are being displayed all over people’s homes.  Egyptians are waving them too on the streets.  some even hang the flags on the cars and honking in delight.  all these acts of patriotism a full two days before the match!  woe to those who choose to wear or carry anything that bears a remote resemblance to the Algerian emblems tomorrow evening.

the Egyptians love for football is so great that Cairo’s notorious traffic jams will literally cease to exist as the entire country come to a standstill from 7-9 pm tomorrow, where the match is telecast live over the open-air tv.   victory will surely set off wild dances, more honking of car horns (i.e. noise pollution), waving of flags and an entire night of celebration in the streets.  hopefully, defeat will not result in any violent incidents.

not merely for the love of the sport, football is also a welcome distraction for the difficult lives of the majority of the Egyptians.  perhaps the national team’s achievements bring a sense of accomplishment to the ordinary folks who know that they may never achieve that much under their present difficult circumstances?  hopefully, it will be a pleasant hangover for all come Sunday morning when the work week begins.

as for me, I will be rooting for my ‘adopted’ country since I know nuts about the Algerian team! … so come on Aboul Troika, Mido, Ghaly, Amr Zaki and Shehata (coach)!

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