Sports – Daily News Egypt https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Fri, 30 Aug 2019 10:00:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Meet the Egyptian adventurer embarking a 900 km swim across Egypt’s Red Sea in 90 days https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/08/28/meet-the-egyptian-adventurer-embarking-a-900-km-swim-across-egypts-red-sea-in-90-days/ Wed, 28 Aug 2019 16:42:15 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=706422 El-Galla aims to get into Guinness World Record by finishing the last chapter of his extreme triathlon, to raise awareness of the plastic waste crisis

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For adventurer Omar El-Galla, cycling around Egypt, and running across its governorates from one side to another; did not satisfy his passion towards exploits, life-changing trips. Swimming across Egypt’s Red Sea, from the North to South, is El-Galla’s next mark in the world of adventures, in which he plans to cross 900 kilometres from Suez to Shalateen in an almost three-month trip.

By mid-September, El-Galla is to leave the modern luxurious city life and to get underway a 90-day challenging trip through. Through his journey, he is to live on a boat and conquer the high waves of the Red Sea.

The trip aims to raise people awareness of the plastic waste crises in Egypt. It follows the trail of several causes that were dedicated to spotlighting the negative effects of the single-use plastic products on the environment. In his trip, EL-Galla is to spend 90 days in the middle of the sea without the utilisation of any single-use plastic products.

By doing so, he wants to prove that if a person can spend three months in the middle of the sea without using plastic, then nothing prevents city residents from doing the same.

After running a distance of 1,500 km from Abu Simbel to Alexandria with nothing but a backpack, and cycling for 6,500 km across Egypt over 65 days; El-Galla is currently targeting to finish this extreme triathlon with a Guinness World Record by attempting to swim across Egypt.

Throughout the three month trip, he will be accompanied only with a sailboat, which will be his temporary home, where he will rest, eat and spend his nights.

While many people would fear the possible challenges such a trip might hold for them, fear is not on El-Galla’s feeling lists, which is topped by thrill and excitement.

“At this point, I just feel like I want to get to the starting line and start the swim,” El-Galla told Daily News Egypt, adding “The curiosity is consuming me; I want to know how things will unfold, how will my body and mind handle this swim.”

El-Galla stressed that excitement is the main emotion driving him, especially that he is about to become the first Egyptian to cross the Red Sea’s coast in Egypt, this allows him to “explore every nook and cranny under the water and above it, the reefs, marine life and islands.”

The trip is planned to start from Suez’s shore passing by Ain Sokhna, Zaafarana, Ras Ghareb, El-Gouna, Hurghada, Safaga, Quseir, Marsa Alam, Hamata, and Berenice before he ends up at Shalateen.

“I trained, researched and prepared as much as I could. But nothing prepares you for something like that, at the end I just have to go out there, throw my self into the water and start swimming,” he asserted.

The trip takes place in partnership with “if”, a sustainable initiative that’s the brainchild of record-breaking Egyptian adventurers Omar Samra and Ahmed Gabr. According to El-Galla, it is also authorized by the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA).

For months, Omar heavily trained in preparation for the event, under the supervision of his brother, Mohamed El-Galla, who is currently his swimming coach. Through the training, both focused on “improving my [Omar’s] technique as ultimately this is the key to finishing the swim with minimal effort and no injuries.”

Mohamed El-Galla was a competitive swimmer. He was qualified to become his brother’s coach, as he was the captain of the swim team of Canada at Carleton University and an assistant swim coach at a Canadian swim club.

“The plan is to swim 12-15 km every day, counting in some zigzagging and unfavourable weather conditions, I am expecting to swim the whole distance in 90 days. But ultimately the plan is to finish the swim even if it takes longer to complete it,” Omar explained his plans to overcome the huge distance.

Despite his excitement and well preparation, El-Galla acknowledged the challenges he is to face at his 900 kilometres journey.

“For safety, I will be accompanied by a sailboat the whole time, which will also be my home for the duration of the swim. I also will be towing a safety buoy all the time for safety and increased visibility, and we will be using a variety of non-telephone communication equipment and tracking equipment,” he explained.

He further added that he will wear a full swimsuit including gloves, socks and a neoprene swim hood to “protect my self from losing heat and getting hypothermia.”

As for the swimming time, El-Galla has studied the timing of which the tide is to support him on his trip.

“To avoid swimming against the tide, I will time my swims during a 6-hour window in daylight when the tide is on my side. The tide changes every 6 hours, so I have two, six-hour windows when the tide is with me, and since one of those widows is at night, I have to finish the daily distance in those 6 hours in the daylight,” he pointed out.

When asked about the way he psychologically prepares himself into overcrossing such a vast distance, he expressed his belief that “the distance seems absurdly long, but the trick is to break it down into very small goals.”

“I usually just think of the next hour then on finishing the day’s distance. Just focus on than, then at some point, I’ll realise that I have done 25% then I would tell my self ‘3 more of those and it is over’ then at 50% the countdown starts and that gets me going,” he further added.

The trip is planned to start on 15 September, yet people get to support El-Galla through purchasing his expedition t-shirt starting from the beginning of the month.

“There will be some challenging times and there will be some very tough times. But one thing is certain, we, the crew and I, will come out of this experience richer,” he smilingly concluded.

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First Edition of ZED Club’s Cup opening ceremony kicks off https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/08/26/first-edition-of-zed-clubs-cup-opening-ceremony-kicks-off/ Mon, 26 Aug 2019 13:33:47 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=706114 This is the first tournament of its kind to take place in Egypt and is organised by Z Bling Effect. 

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The first edition of the ZED Club’s Cup football tournament has kicked off on Sunday, at the newly launched ZED Park, under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

The tournament brought to life by Naguib Sawiris’ Ora Developers, is set to witness intense competition between the U13 teams of some of the world’s biggest football clubs, who have gathered in Egypt for the first time in history.

This is the first tournament of its kind to take place in Egypt and is organised by Z Bling Effect.

The inauguration of the ZED Club’s Cup was attended by iconic Egyptian football players including Ahmed Belal, Mohamed Shawky, Walid Salah El-Din and Emad Meteb, as well as, Mohamed El Garhi, Board Member of Al Ahly club and Mohamed El-Shawrkawy, Board Member of the Shooting Club.

Additionally, TV host Seif Zaher hosted the draw event and has been revealed as a member of the technical committee in addition to prominent sports figures Hazem Emam and Ahmed Hossam Mido.

CEO of Ora Developers Haitham Mohamed commented, “We’re very excited to be bringing some of the best football clubs in the world to compete in Egypt for the first time, especially when we’re focusing on the youth who have so much talent to offer.”

He said that this is a historical moment in Egypt, expressing their delight to be kicking off the first edition of the tournament at the company’s new ZED Park, giving the public a chance to discover what they are offering, including the fully equipped sports complex, adding that “this is only the beginning, and we’re looking forward to many more events at ZED Park.”

The opening match took place right after the ceremony at ZED’s fully equipped new sports complex.

A total of 12 teams will compete throughout the championship which will last five days, and conclude on Friday, 30 August. The matches will be held on ZED’s world-class FIFA-accredited football GrassMaster pitch. Furthermore, all locations and routes have been secured under the supervision of the Ministry of Tourism.

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Sports Ministry collaborates with private sector to market Egyptian footballers in Europe https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/08/24/sports-ministry-collaborates-with-private-sector-to-market-egyptian-footballers-in-europe/ Sat, 24 Aug 2019 09:00:29 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=705924 The new project targets players aged 15-18 to participate in the international friendly tournament in the Netherlands, and other 10 players aged 10-15 to receive training with European teams of the same age at the expense of Simo Sport.

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Simo Sport announced the selection of 30 players to travel to the Netherlands to participate in a junior tournament with the aim to market the best Egyptian players in Europe, as scouts from major European clubs will attend the tournament.

Minister of Youth and Sports, Ashraf Sobhy, said the new initiative comes as part of the ministry’s projects to support young football talents in cooperation with the private sector in all governorates, in addition to preparing a new generation of promising sports talents capable of representing the country in various games.

The new project targets players aged 15-18 to participate in the international friendly tournament in the Netherlands, and other 10 players aged 10-15 to receive training with European teams of the same age at the expense of Simo Sport.

Mohamed Hassan, chairperson of Simo Sport, told Daily News Egypt that the company has signed a cooperation protocol with the Ministry of Youth and Sports in order to discover the young talents in all governorates depending on the ministry-affiliated youth centres.

He added that the proceeds of the project will be divided into 60% for the company, 20% for youth centres, and 20% for the ministry.

“Application forms were distributed in youth centres for those interested in the project. Some 7,000 players have undergone placement tests around Egypt,” he said.

Hassan explained that his company has spent more than EGP 1m on the project so far, and contributed to the inclusion of 850 players to be sponsored by the ministry within the project.

He pointed out that selected players were sent to closed training camps to prepare them technically and physically before assessing their abilities to compete abroad.

Hassan said the Netherlands tournament was scheduled for August, but it was delayed as some players could not get their passports on time, so the trip was postponed to 13 September. The travelling costs of each player reached EGP 20,000.

He explained that the biggest obstacle was the difficult economic conditions suffered by a number of players, which affected their physical strength due to poor nourishment.

Gharbeya is one of the most provinces that produce talented players, as well as Daqahleya, Fayoum, and Beheira.

Hassan revealed his company seeks to establish a new football club to compete in the Egyptian Premier League Fourth Division, he said, adding that this club would benefit from the talents to be discovered in the project. The club will be established in Barageel town in Giza.

He also plans to establish several football academies nationwide because there are great talents in Egypt that need care and support.

Hassan pointed out that he presented a proposal to the Ministry of Sports to market young players in individual games internationally in cooperation with two European companies, one English and the other Portuguese.

Simo Sport started its activity in Egypt last year, as a branch of the parent company in the Netherlands. The company is specialised in the establishment of sports training camps and facilitate training opportunities for players and coaches in European clubs. The company was the mediator of selling Belgian Lierse S.K. to Magdy Samy, chairperson of Wadi Degla, before he later sold the club.

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Talent Project’s budget to reach EGP 68m, sponsoring 3,100 players from 27 provinces https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/08/24/talent-projects-budget-to-reach-egp-68m-sponsoring-3100-players-from-27-provinces/ Sat, 24 Aug 2019 08:30:26 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=705923 He pointed out that Talent and Olympic Champion projects represent Egypt's hope in achieving more medals and titles in the future, and the Ministry has spared no effort in supporting the projects.

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Minister of Youth and Sports, Ashraf Sobhy, said the Talent and Olympic Champion are the most important national projects adopted by the Ministry to discover and sponsor talented athletes and develop their abilities based on international standards in each game.

He added that the political leadership pays special attention to the selection of sports talents to compete for podiums in various international sports.

Sobhy pointed out that Egypt is witnessing big sports achievements among national youth teams, such as U-21 handball team ranking third in the 2019 IHF Men’s Junior World Championship, winning U-19 World Championship, women’s basketball team ranking second in U-16 African Championship to qualify for the World Cup, and other achievements in individual games, including modern pentathlon, taekwondo, and swimming.

He pointed out that Talent and Olympic Champion projects represent Egypt’s hope in achieving more medals and titles in the future, and the Ministry has spared no effort in supporting the projects.

Sobhy praised the outstanding level of all project’s players and asked them to do their best in the coming tournaments.

Moreover, the Ministry of Youth and Sports aims to increase the allocations of the Talent and Olympic Champion to EGP 68m in the current fiscal year after the promising start of the projects last year.

Mohamed Hamdy, the project’s manager, told Daily News Egypt that the budget of the project during last year amounted to EGP 34m, and the ministry is trying to double it, in light of the clear interest of the state in the project.

He added that the project includes seven individual games, namely wrestling, boxing, judo, weightlifting, taekwondo, athletics, and table tennis, as well as handball and basketball. It is divided into five stages, juniors, promising players, elites, and Olympic champions.

The junior stage includes players from age 10. During this stage, the project’s administrators conduct measurements to determine the best game for each young player and prepare them to participate in local championships for two years, and then be upgraded to Promising Players stage for more two years, in which best players will be prepared to participate in republic tournaments in coordination with concerned sports federations. Through this stage, the most talented players will be added to national teams to participate in continental championships. This stage lasts for a year, and if they achieved good results, they will join the Elites stage, during which the ministry offers closed training camps and friendly encounters with foreign players to increase their experience and enable them to join the last stage, which is the Olympic Champion.

Hamdy stressed the project will include all the country’s governorates, establishing a major centre for each geographical area which has a large number of good players in a certain game, such as weightlifting in Ismailia. The project will provide full accommodation for all players and monthly salary of EGP 350.

He pointed out that the project will recruit sports psychiatrists to be part of the project’s technical staff to prepare champions psychologically. A total 82 centres for young and promising players have been opened this year and will be increased next year. The technical staff received necessary training courses, Hamdy noted.

The Minister of Youth and Sports requested preparing a list of nominees for coaching in each game in order to start preparing their travel procedures to attend specialised training in Leipzig in Germany.

Hamdy said the entire project is currently supervised by the state, and the Ministry of Sports seeks to attract the private sector companies to sponsor the project.

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Researchers monitor CO2 leakage sites on ocean floor https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/08/21/researchers-monitor-co2-leakage-sites-on-ocean-floor/ Wed, 21 Aug 2019 21:18:18 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=705713 Injecting CO2 deep below seabed can help mitigate climate change

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Injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) deep below the seabed can be an important strategy for easing climate change, according to experts in the field. However, scientists need a reliable way to monitor such sites for leakage of the greenhouse gas.

Now, researchers reporting in ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology have studied natural sources of CO2 release off the coast of Italy, using what they learned to develop models that could be applied to future storage sites.

The multinational energy company Equinor operates a CO2 capture and storage facility that injects about 1 megaton per year of the greenhouse gas into an offshore sandstone aquifer deep below Norwegian waters. Undersea storage of the gas presents less risk for humans in case of accidental leakage compared with storage on land because the vast ocean acts as a buffer for the released CO2.

However, the leaked gas can dissolve in ocean water, decreasing the pH and potentially harming the local marine ecosystem. Currently, scientists lack an established method to identify and quantify multiple CO2 leaks spread across a region of the ocean floor. Therefore, Jonas Gros and colleagues investigated pH changes near natural CO2 seeps in the vicinity of Panarea, a small island off the coast of northern Sicily.

The researchers used scuba divers and ship-based instrument deployments to collect gas and water samples from undersea CO2 plumes. The team used these data to validate a computer model that they developed to predict pH changes to water resulting from leakage of the gas. This simulation indicated that over 79% of the CO2 dissolved within 4 metres of the seafloor.

The team found that the model could predict a pattern of pH variation in waters surrounding the leakage site that was similar to actual data collected by sensors towed underwater. The new model could be used to guide sampling strategies during routine monitoring of storage sites and to estimate impacts of CO2 releases to the local marine environment.

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NBE announces EGP 2.5m prizes for handball youth teams for their world achievements https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/08/19/nbe-announces-egp-2-5m-prizes-for-handball-youth-teams-for-their-world-achievements/ Mon, 19 Aug 2019 20:57:08 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705426 Nasr explained that this announcement was only a few hours after the tournament concluded, and there may be other financial awards from businesspeople or companies.

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The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) has announced granting EGP 2.5m prizes to Egypt’s youth and junior handball teams after winning the Men’s U-19 World Handball Championship in Skopje, North Macedonia and the bronze medal at the Men’s Junior World Championship in Spain.

Hesham Nasr, president of the Egyptian Handball Federation, told Daily News Egypt that the NBE is the first Egyptian side to notify him of financial awards to the national teams. The award for the U-19 team will be higher than that of the U-21 team, as they were crowned world champions.

Nasr explained that this announcement was only a few hours after the tournament concluded, and there may be other financial awards from businesspeople or companies.

He pointed out that the International Handball Federation does not give teams that achieve advanced positions any financial prizes, according to regulations.

Moreover, since the Egyptian Handball Federation has cancelled its sponsorship contract with Presentation Sports in April, the federation has not received any other sponsorship offers. The federation cancelled its EGP 50m sponsorship contract with Presentation, which was supposed to extend until the 2021 World Cup in Cairo because of the company’s failure to comply with the terms of the contract, the federation said in a statement.

Nasr predicted that the federation will receive many sponsoring offers after the national teams’ outstanding results.

He explained that the federation allocated $1,500 prize for each player after winning the World Championship. Moreover, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Ashraf Sobhy, told Daily News Egypt that the ministry will award EGP 112,500 for each player according to the regulations of the ministry. While the U-21 youth team will receive EGP 59,000 prize for each player.

Sources told Daily News Egypt that Sobhy is expected to cut short his visit to Morocco and return to Cairo to welcome the U-19 handball team scheduled to arrive home on Tuesday.

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Unprecedented Glory: Egypt win Men’s U-19 World Handball Championship https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/08/18/unprecedented-glory-egypt-win-mens-u-19-world-handball-championship/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 18:55:19 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705291 President Al-Sisi congratulates the Egyptian players, praising their heroic performance

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Egypt made history on Sunday after beating Germany 32-28 in the final of the Men’s U-19 World Handball Championship, to be the first non-European team to clinch the precious title. Immediately after the match, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi congratulated the Egyptian players on social media, praising their heroic performance throughout the tournament.

This dream team reached the final for the first time too following a 41-36 victory over Portugal in the semi-finals. Egypt were leading throughout the match and had a comfortable advantage at half-time (19-14), but Germany pulled off a great comeback and made it a tense second half. 

The U-19 Men’s World Championship was the eighth edition of the tournament, held from 6 to 18 August in Skopje, North Macedonia.

It has been a victorious year for Egyptians as the new achievement was a step further than the earlier winning of Egypt’s U-21 team of the bronze medal at the 2019 IHF Men’s Junior World Championship in July after beating Portugal 37-27 in the third-place playoff.

The International Handball Federation revealed this year Men’s Youth World Championship All-star Team which included players representing five different nations – and three who also won the bronze medal with Egypt at the 2019 IHF Men’s Junior World Championship, as well as the gold winners of the North Macedonia tournament.

The team includes Germany’s Alexander Reimann as left wing, Egypt’s Hassan Walid Ahmed as Left back, Lauritz Reinholdt Leger of Denmark as centre back, Portugal’s right back Martim Costa, Hungary’s right wing Daniel Kecskes, line player Tom Bergner from Germany, and Egypt’s goalkeeper Abdelrahman Mohamed Homayed, Germany’s Julian Koster as best defender, and Egypt’s Hassan Walid Ahmed as top scorer with 51 goals, as well as Egypt’s Ahmed Hesham Elsayed selected as MVP.

During the championship, Egypt’s youngsters had a very successful run, beating Iceland in the quarter-finals, and managed to win four out of their five group stage games against Sweden, Chinese Taipei, Canada, and Hungary and had just one narrow defeat to holders France.

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Three incredible Egyptian athletes who challenged their disabilities https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/08/12/three-incredible-egyptian-athletes-who-challenged-their-disabilities/ Mon, 12 Aug 2019 19:09:02 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=704965 Mariam Adel was honoured by Al-Sisi for winning gold medal in English Equitation at 2019 Abu Dhabi Special Olympics

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It’s safe to say that the Egyptian delegation that participated in the 2019 Abu Dhabi Special Olympics (14-21 March) has taken the event by a storm. Egyptian athletes have broken all expectations and won a total of 70 medals (29 gold, 21 silver, and 20 bronze).

Mariam Adel was among the Egyptian Special Olympics delegation, which consists of 34 male athletes and 35 females. She won the gold medal in English Equitation contest.

Last month, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi honoured a number of outstanding youth models during the closing session of the 7th Youth Conference held in the New Administrative Capital. Mariam was among the honoured youth. Daily News Egypt sat with Mariam and two others of her colleagues, Naira Essam and Karim El-Mosallamy, as well as their families whose continuous support helped those athletes to make global achievements.

It was not Mariam’s first official award, as she was also honoured by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed among three other world champions on the sidelines of the Special Olympics.

Laila, Mariam’s the mother, said: “Mariam learned many sports and finally decided to try horse riding. She trained in many places. It’s an expensive sport; an eight-session training costs EGP 1,500 and the equitation outfit is priced EGP 10,000.

“Her coach is keen to support her. And after she achieved good results, we became more determined to complete playing this sport. She participated in the Special Olympics and won the gold medal. In 2015, Mariam participated in the Special Olympics in Los Angeles and won two silvers.”

Mariam’s brilliance was not limited to the equitation, she also played athletics and participated in regional and international championships. In Beirut 2002, she won two silver medals, then another two in 2003 in Ireland in shot puts, running, swimming, and karate.

Mariam, 26, also has her own investment ideas. She owns a small business, called 4 Biscuits, involving three of her female friends and a young man. They make biscuits and sell them online. Mariam filmed a documentary about her own experience and achievements within the women pioneers programme of the Social Solidarity Ministry.

Another champion is the 16-year-old Naira Essam who is also studying at the Conservatoire – the Higher Institute for Music.

Her mother, Aliaa, said: “Naira participated in a regional championship in 2018 and won two gold medals. She also won two silvers in the world championship in 2019.”

“Naira is training at the Equestrian Club of Gezira. She also plays swimming and basketball and won the republic championships in both of them,” Aliaa added.

For her art activity, Naira participates in theatrical performances, whether playing music or acting in Set El Dunia and It Stays Pending plays. She also participated in the International Festival of Children of Peace in Morocco, and is preparing to participate in Bent Ali opera performance, the mother said.

Aliaa added: “Naira was advised by her professor at the Conservatory Amany Soliman to play sports to improve her breathing for flute playing. She started with swimming in Wadi Degla club, then equestrian in the Armed Forces Club, where she drew the attention of her trainers.”

“Naira has the ability to deal with any horse. She participated in the Special Olympics in the UAE and won the gold medal. We gave her a special training costing EGP 150 per session, along with her regular training in the Armed Forces Club and the Equestrian Club.”

The third champion Daily New Egypt has met was Karim El-Mosallamy. He is a 32-year-old horse rider. He also plays handball and table tennis. He trains at Happy World Association and the Armed Forces Club. He participated in the Special Olympics 2019 and wong gold and bronze medals.

His mother said: “Karim is training in private clubs and the Equestrian Club to develop his performance.”

Karim made achievements in other sports as well. In 2008, he won the gold medal in handball at a championship in Dubai.

Aside from sports, Karim participated in a drawing exhibition at the Opera House. When he was young, he starred in A Hot Night film with Nour El-Sherif and Lebleba.

Karim is studying at the German University in Cairo, where he partakes in training workshops in different departments.

Karim’s mother shared: “In Dubai, they received in-kind gifts. They should get financial prizes like other athletes. President Al-Sisi gave directives for this matter, but it never happened. And we suffer a lot because of that.”

She added: “They should be granted a free membership in private clubs located near of their residences. Karim lives in Shorouk City and spent a lot of money and effort to go to Gezira Club. They should receive subsidised transportation and health care at hospitals close to their residences. They should also be granted pensions. Karim’s equestrian training costs EGP 600 besides transportation.”

“Karim was honoured by the administration of Shorouk City by naming one of the city’s streets after him. It was a good gesture from the city’s residents,” the mother said.

  

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Zamalek sign 10 new players in preparation for CAF Champions League, CAF Super Cup https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/08/02/zamalek-sign-10-new-players-in-preparation-for-caf-champions-league-caf-super-cup/ Fri, 02 Aug 2019 13:00:44 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=704242 Esperance confirmed as 2019 CAF Champions League winners by CAS

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Zamalek announced 10 new signings at a press conference held on Wednesday in preparation for the team’s campaign in the CAF Champions League, in which they will face Dekedaha FC of Somalia in the preliminary round of the tournament, as well as the CAF Super Cup game that will be held in the UAE on 16, 17, or 18 August.

The new players are Shikabala; Mostafa Mohamed, who was on loan to Tala’ea El Gaish SC; Mohamed Abdul Shafy and Karim Bambo in free transfer deals; Moroccan Ashraf Borgaki and Mohamed Ounajem; and Eslam Gaber, as well as three goalkeepers: Mohamed Awaad, Mohamed Abo Gabal, and Mohamed Sobhy.

Mortada Mansour, the club’s president, announced they are negotiating with three coaches to lead the team in the coming season, replacing Khalid Galal who was sacked after losing the league title and the derby game against Al Ahly last week.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected Morocco’s Wydad Athletic appeal to replay the 2019 CAF Champions League final against Esperance, confirming the Tunisian side as winners of the edition.

The second leg of the Champions League final on 31 May was controversially abandoned by Wydad after the club’s players took issue with the faulty VAR system. As a result, Esperance were initially declared champions on the evening but CAF later made an about-turn and ruled that the second-leg should be replayed at a neutral venue.

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EFA’s marketing department awaits election of new board to develop Egyptian football: Zaher https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/08/02/efas-marketing-department-awaits-election-of-new-board-to-develop-egyptian-football-zaher/ Fri, 02 Aug 2019 12:00:42 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=704240 We will cooperate with La Liga, but it’s still hard to establish a professional sports league organisation, says marketing director

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As soon as the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), hosted from 21 June to 19 July in Egypt, came to an end, the pre-tournament situation returns. The league matches were played without fans, the renovated stadiums were closed, and the quality of TV broadcast of games was once again poor.

Daily News Egypt spoke with Mohamed Samir Zaher, marketing director in the Egyptian Football Association (EFA), about the department’s plans to develop the football in Egypt.

What are your plans for developing football in Egypt?

The marketing department is awaiting the election of a new board of directors of the EFA as the last board, headed by Hany Abu Reda, has resigned on the background of Egypt’s early exit from AFCON. The marketing department is preparing several proposals for the development of football in Egypt benefiting from the huge success in organising AFCON. The upcoming EFA board would discuss these proposals.

Can you tell us about your meeting with the representatives of Spanish La Liga?

The EFA has held two meetings with the representatives of La Liga to benefit from their expertise in the development of the Egyptian football. There are many things that must be considered in this file, notably setting a fixed schedule for the league matches to ensure the best promotion of the tournament because the good organisation would avoid conflict with other competitions or events that could affect the viewing rates.

Mohamed Samir Zaher, marketing director in the Egyptian Football Association (EFA)

Have you reached any agreement with La Liga?

There was a memorandum of cooperation between La Liga and EFA but the activation of this memorandum is now in the hands of the upcoming EFA board. The memorandum included many articles, notably the development of coaches through obtain international coaching licenses, and the development of women football in Egypt.

How can Egypt benefit from the renovated stadiums that hosted AFCON?

Regular maintenance is necessary to keep these stadiums in their best form. When the league starts, each club should have its home stadium so it will be easier to maintain stadiums, since there are at least 20 stadiums ready to host the league. In most countries, all clubs participating in the league should have their own stadiums, but under the current circumstances in Egypt the league clubs can rent stadiums for the whole season.

How can we capitalise upon the success of Tazkarti to bring football fans back to stadiums in Egypt?

There is a clear tendency for the return of fans to stadiums in local tournaments, but this requires making some changes in the Fan ID system, for example, the ID should bear the logo and colour of the favourite team, each club’s games should be played in the club’s region, such as Misr Lel Makkasa in Fayoum.

Under the current circumstances, can Egypt establish a professional sports league organisation?

It is difficult now to establish a professional sports league organisation because it would have the right to market the local competitions, and there is already a sponsorship contract between the EFA and Presentation by which the company has the commercial rights of Egyptian Premier League until 2022.

What about the possibility of applying VAR in Egypt?

The application of the VAR will be in the hands of the referees committee of the EFA. If the committee agreed, there would be more than one way for the application of the new system.

What are the updates of adopting a unified ball for the Egyptian Premier League?

The resignation of the EFA board has halted an agreement with Puma to produce a unified ball. According to this deal, each club would receive 100 balls. The agreement will be postponed to the next season, even though the company has already made the ball with the EFA logo and started selling it at its stores.

Are there any plans to improve the TV broadcast of league matches?

The marketing committee will present a proposal for the coming board of EFA to develop the TV broadcast of the Egyptian Premier League through an agreement with the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) to allocate a certain number of cameras in all games, as it would be costly to contract with foreign broadcasting companies.

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297 Egyptian athletes partake in 2019 All-Africa Games in Morocco https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/31/297-egyptian-athletes-partake-in-2019-all-africa-games-in-morocco/ Wed, 31 Jul 2019 06:00:13 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=704043 The Minister of Youth and Sports, Ashraf Sobhy, called on the participating athletes to do their best. He expressed his confidence in the players and their ability to win medals.

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Egypt’s mission in the 2019 All-Africa Games, hosted by the Moroccan city of Rabat on 19-31 August, will include 297 athletes participating in 24 sports, the Egyptian Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday. The 2019 African Games will be a qualification step for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

The sports in which Egypt will participate are: archery, athletics, badminton, 3×3 basketball, boxing, canoeing, fencing, equestrian, gymnastics, handball, judo, karate, badminton, rowing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, weightlifting, and wrestling, plus two non-Olympic games: chess and snooker.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Ashraf Sobhy, called on the participating athletes to do their best. He expressed his confidence in the players and their ability to win medals.

The sports minister stressed that the Egyptian government, led by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, put sports at the top of its priorities. He added that the great achievements of Egyptian sport are the result of unlimited support from the political leadership.

The African Games are held every four years and this edition will be played in four cities: Rabat, Casablanca, El Jadida, and Salé, after Equatorial Guinea withdrew from hosting the tournament. About 5,000 African athletes are expected to join the 2019 African Games. Morocco is the third Arab country to host the Games after Egypt in 1991, and Algeria in 1978 and 2007.

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Sports Ministry honours national team for winning bronze in Men’s Junior World Handball Championship https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/30/sports-ministry-honours-national-team-for-winning-bronze-in-mens-junior-world-handball-championship/ Mon, 29 Jul 2019 22:31:08 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=703923 The Pharaohs produced some impressive displays in the tournament, repeating the 1999 achievement when they won bronze against France.

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Ministry of Youth and Sports is preparing an official reception ceremony for the national handball team when they return from Spain, for their excellent and distinguished performance in Men’s Junior World Handball Championship in which they won the bronze medal following a 37-27 victory over Portugal in the third-place playoff on Sunday. The national team mission will return home on Tuesday morning.

The Pharaohs produced some impressive displays in the tournament, repeating the 1999 achievement when they won bronze against France.

Egypt managed to qualify for the knockout rounds after topping group B following five wins from five against the likes of Sweden, France, South Korea, Nigeria, and Australia, becoming the first non-European team to win all their group matches since 2009.

They then managed to beat Serbia and Norway in the round of 16 and quarter-finals respectively to face their group opponents France once again.

However, France had the upper hand and defeated Egypt 35-33, depriving the Pharaohs of the chance to reach their first final since 1993 when they made history by winning the trophy at home.

Liverpool’s star Mohamed Salah congratulated the national handball team for winning bronze. “Congratulations to Egypt’s handball team. A great and usual achievement of the Egyptian handball. Good luck,” Salah said on Twitter.

Hisham Nasr, head of the Egyptian Handball Federation, said, “There is a great honouring awaiting the Pharaohs after winning the bronze in the world championship in Spain.”

Nasr said in a press statement that the details of the honouring ceremony will be announced later after the return of the team from Spain.

He praised the team, led by coach Tarek Mahrous, stressing that “they met the high expectations of the Egyptian people.”

“Those players are the hope of the Egyptian handball, and we expect them to make a great achievement for Egypt in the 2021 World Men’s Handball Championship in Cairo,” he added.

He pointed out that “this generation succeeded in reviving the love of handball in the hearts of Egyptians.”

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Glorious Farida Osman gets bronze at World Swimming Championships https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/30/glorious-farida-osman-gets-bronze-at-world-swimming-championships/ Mon, 29 Jul 2019 22:27:56 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=703913 Osman qualified for the final on Friday after finishing fifth in the semis with a time of 25.79 seconds.

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Egyptian swimmer Farida Osman won the bronze medal in the women’s 50m butterfly final at the 2019 World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea after finishing third in the final with a time of 25.47 seconds on Saturday.

Osman qualified for the final on Friday after finishing fifth in the semis with a time of 25.79 seconds.

Minister of Youth and Sports, Ashraf Sobhy, congratulated Osman and the Egyptian Swimming Federation, headed by Yasser Idris for the historic achievement.

Having started swimming at the age of four, Osman represented Egypt at the 2011 FINA junior World Championships before becoming an Olympian at only 17 when she participated in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

She was seventh at the World Championships in 2013 and, two years later, finished fifth in the 50m butterfly at the World Championship with a time of 25.78 seconds, an African record at the time. She still holds the African record with a 25.39-second finish in Budapest.

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Pharaohs clinch Bronze medal in Men’s Junior World Handball Championship https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/29/pharaohs-clinch-bronze-medal-in-mens-junior-world-handball-championship/ Sun, 28 Jul 2019 22:38:06 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=703765 Egypt first non-European team to win all their group matches since 2009

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Egypt won the Bronze medal in the 2019 Men’s Junior World Handball Championship, held in Spain, following a 37-27 victory over Portugal in the third-place playoff on Sunday.

The Pharaohs produced some impressive displays in the tournament, repeating the 1999 achievement when they won the Bronze medal against France.

Egypt managed to qualify for the knockout rounds after topping group B following five wins from five against the likes of Sweden, France, South Korea, Nigeria, and Australia, becoming the first non-European team to win all their group matches since 2009.

They then managed to beat Serbia and Norway in the round of 16 and quarter-finals respectively to face their group opponents France once again.

However, France had the upper hand and defeated Egypt 35-33, depriving the Pharaohs of the chance to reach their first final since 1993 when they made history by winning the trophy at home.


The nation team mission will return home on Tuesday morning. The Egyptian Handball Federation, headed by Hisham Nasr, is preparing a major ceremony to celebrate the team’s achievement to be attended by the Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy.

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Egypt play Algeria in Men’s African Volleyball Championship third-place playoff https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/28/egypt-play-algeria-in-mens-african-volleyball-championship-third-place-playoff/ Sun, 28 Jul 2019 15:27:45 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=703713 Hosts Tunisia face Cameroon in championship final

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Egypt’s national volleyball team will meet Algeria on Sunday evening in the third-place playoff of the Men’s African Volleyball Championship held in Tunisia. In the same say, the hosts will play Cameroon in the championship final.

Egypt have lost to Tunisia 3-1 in the semi-finals held at El Menzah Sports Palace last Friday. While Cameroon, who topped Pool B, defeated Algeria 3-0.

The hosts, defending the title they secured in 2017, topped Pool A, defeating DR Congo, Chad, Botswana, and Algeria.

Egypt were safe in the second qualifying spot in Pool B after earlier wins over Morocco, Burundi, and Congo.

Egypt have eight African titles, the last of which in 2015. While Tunisia have nine titles, and is very close to win their 10th.

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League champions Al Ahly in special contest against Zamalek https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/28/league-champions-al-ahly-in-special-contest-against-zamalek/ Sun, 28 Jul 2019 15:25:42 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=703712 Red Devils seek to complete their victorious league run, while White Knights need face-saving win

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The longest Egyptian Premier League season will come to an end on Sunday when Al Ahly meet Zamalek at Alexandria’s Borg El Arab Stadium in a strong but pointless derby after the Red Devils secured the league title last Wednesday with a 3-1 win over Al Mokawloon Al Arab. Al Ahly have extended their record of league titles to 41 with this year’s triumph.

The result put Al Ahly five points clear of their great rivals Zamalek. However, the Egyptian Classico is always a special encounter no matter the situation of both teams, with each side aiming to prove its dominance over the Egyptian football.

This Egyptian league season had been delayed repeatedly for several reasons, most lately for the recent Africa Cup of Nations hosted by the country from 21 June to 19 July.

Al Ahly lead the league table with 77 points, while Zamalek is second with 72 points, meaning that each of them will participate in the next CAF Champions League.

Al Ahly entered in a closed camp in Alexandria after beating Al Mokawloon. The team’s coaching staff, led by Uruguayan Martín Lasarte, advised the players to postpone their celebrations until they play Zamalek.

The White Knights are also intensively preparing for the game as the players realise that beating Al Ahly will ease the distress of losing the league title to their rivals and will give them a big boost before the start of the new season.

We expect an exciting match as both teams have nothing to lose. The league’s first-round match between Al Ahly and Al Zamalek ended in a goalless draw and saw poor performance from both teams, but the coming match will be different.

The 118th Cairo derby coincides with the summer transfer window in which all teams are in race against time to sign high-quality players to strengthen their squads in preparation for the new season.

Amir Mortada Mansour, the supervisor of Zamalek’s football team, is exerting great efforts in this regard. He called on the team’s stars to focus and win the Sunday match to reconcile the angry fans after losing the league title.

Meanwhile, Zamalek has decided to terminate the contracts of the coaching staff, led by Khaled Galal, after the Sunday match, due to losing the title race.

Galal took charge of Zamalek succeeding Swiss Christian Gross whose contract ended in May. Galal led the White Knights in three matches; a win over Ismaili and two draws against Haras El Hodoud and El Gouna.

In the CAF Champions League, Al Ahly will face South Sudan’s Atlabara in the preliminary round, while Zamalek will be playing against Somalia’s Dekedaha.

The first leg will be played on either 9, 10, or 11 August outside Egypt, while the second leg will be played two weeks later in Egypt.

Al Ahly and Zamalek in 2018/19 Egyptian Premier League

Al Ahly

Ranking: 1st

Games: 33

Win: 24

Draw: 5

Lose: 4

Goals For: 55

Gaols Against: 20

Goal difference: 35

Top Scorer: Ali Maâloul (7 goals)

Zamalek

Ranking: 2nd

Games: 33

Win: 21

Draw: 9

Lose: 3

Goals For: 65

Goals Against: 30

Goal difference: 35

Top scorers: Mahmoud Alaa (15 goals)

Ramadan Sobhi

Age: 22

Position: Forward / Left Winger

Marketing value: €5m

Contract until: June 2020

League games: 17

Win: 14

Draw: 2

Lose: 1

Scored: 2

Assist: 3

Minutes played: 1,295

Tarek Hamed

Age: 30

Position: Defensive Midfielder

Marketing value: €1.5m

Contract until: June 2022

League games: 29

Win: 20

Tied: 6

Lose: 3

Scored: 2

Assist: 2

Minutes played: 2,593

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Egyptian football league needs rebranding, AFCON19 should be exploited: Media Pro Egypt https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/27/egyptian-football-league-needs-rebranding-afcon19-should-be-exploited-media-pro-egypt/ Sat, 27 Jul 2019 08:00:37 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=703575 Government should lead development of Egyptian football

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The TV broadcast of the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 (AFCON) received great acclaim. It was the first time to use the 4K technology and such large number of cameras to broadcast the tournament.

Media Pro was responsible for television production of AFCON19 and implemented VAR technology in the tournament. It is one of the largest suppliers of video assistant referee (VAR) equipment in the world, and responsible for television productions for the Spanish, French, and Italian football divisions, and for the distribution of Spanish leagues worldwide.

Daily News Egypt interviewed Tamer Yousry, CEO of Media Pro International in Egypt, to discuss the company’s achievements and plans and how Egyptian football league can benefit from the AFCON experience.

How do you evaluate Egypt’s organisation of AFCON 2019?

All the aspects of the tournament, including the Fan ID, TV broadcast, and renovation of stadiums, can be exploited by Egypt to correct the situation of local football industry. It is necessary to benefit from what happened in AFCON to develop the Egyptian football league having major popularity in the continent and two major clubs, Al Ahly and Zamalek. I think the Egyptian league needs rebranding so as to be promoted as a new product.

What should Egypt do to achieve this?

The Egyptian government has to lead the development of local football industry, and this does not contradict with international regulations, as it can push those in charge to improve the local league. The Egyptian Football Association’s (EFA) next election will not make any difference. There must be a professional league, and nothing hinders this now. The TV broadcast rights are now granted to a single company, which makes broadcasting easier. An executive body should be formed to manage the league away from the EFA.

We had a similar opportunity after AFCON 2006, but we missed it. We must not allow this to happen again. It is not difficult and the cost is not high. We have already been through the difficult part. Our company is ready to participate in the development process, and we opened our office in Egypt for this purpose. Egypt has many professional young talents who can change the current situation.

What can the company offer to develop the Egyptian league?

The cost of applying the VAR for an entire matchweek is equal to hiring a foreign referee crew to officiate a league match, so it’s not high and increases the market value of the tournament. We are in negotiations with the EFA over this issue.

In AFCON, there were 25 cameras to broadcast each game. Besides the main camera that is placed at the main media tribune, there are lots of cameras littered everywhere on the pitch side, behind either goal area (netcam), in the stands, on the roof top, and a skycam that runs just over the players’ heads for aerial view, along with a specialised camera for the entry and exit of players. The skycam hangs over the space with four reels anchored at high fixed points at corners of the stadium.

The human element is still very important in the TV broadcast. We can bring foreign directors to train Egyptian ones, as we seek to produce the Egyptian league.

Does the company have other activities in the Arab region?

We will apply the VAR technology in Morocco’s new football season. We also aim to apply it in Egypt to benefit from the presence of six Egyptian referees who were already trained on VAR.

Can you tell us more about the company’s history and business?

The company is based in Barcelona, Spain. Time Out was our agent in Egypt, before we decided to open our office in Egypt. We produce 26 leagues across the world. This year, we produced the UEFA Champions League, the AFC Asian Cup Final, the AFCON, and Formula 1. We distribute the TV broadcast rights of the La Liga around the world. The company also established both Barcelona and Real Madrid channels and museums, and provided the assets of BeIN Sports and Abu Dhabi Media.

When did Time Out start its activity?

Time Out has started five years ago with the aim to develop football sponsorship of players and clubs in Egypt and the Middle East, achieving the best ROI for sponsors.

How much is the company’s capital?

The company began with a small capital of EGP 120,000 and then was raised by 5,000%. We started as players’ agent. We provided endorsement deals from Málaga CF to Zamalek’s player Mohamed Ibrahim, and from RCD Espanyol to Mohamed Salah before moving to FC Basel.

What are the most important activities of the company?

We are working on developing Etisalat’s sports app. We facilitated endorsement deals for big stars, such as Carles Puyol, Roberto Carlos, Samuel Eto’o, and Mido. These deals secure excellent returns for the company. Two years ago, the company concluded its first sponsorship deal in the English Premier League for an Egyptian company. It was between Chelsea FC and Mobinil in the 2013/14 season when Mohamed Salah was playing for the club. The deal was worth £150,000. We also provided sponsorship deal by Hyde Park to Arsenal, then Banque du Caire, Vodafone with Liverpool, and La Liga with Orange.

How can you attract Egyptian companies to sponsor European clubs?

Some people believe that the sponsorship deal value should be huge, but this is not true for regional rights. It is easy for any company to get the sponsorship rights of a big international club, like Real Madrid or Barcelona, for less value than local clubs, which offers huge advertisement for the company. The Egyptian market, according to studies, is the most interesting for the European leagues in the world. This is mainly due to the football activity suspension in Egypt in the past and banning fans from attending games.

Do you have contracts with Egyptian athletes?

We have the commercial rights of some Egyptian athletes, such as swimmer Farida Othman, handball player Mohamed Sanad. We had some business with Mohamed Salah and concluded his contract with Mobil recently.

Does the company have business outside Egypt?

At the Arab level, Time Out developed the app “du” in the UAE. We have contracts with major clubs there, as well as in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

For commercial rights of football side, how do you see the situation in Egypt?

The football industry in Egypt needs great development. There have been some improvements in recent years, but it has been characterised by randomness. It is necessary to change the mentality of dealing with advertising. It is necessary to understand the nature of each club’s fans. Clubs must stop relying on sponsors. Each club has a specific nature of fans and so it must sell its ads accordingly and not unify sponsors for all clubs.

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La Liga ready to transfer expertise to develop football in Egypt: Fernando Sanz https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/27/la-liga-ready-to-transfer-expertise-to-develop-football-in-egypt-fernando-sanz/ Sat, 27 Jul 2019 07:30:22 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=703611 Satellite broadcast rights for the Spanish league is worth €2.1bn

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La Liga, the top professional division of the Spanish football league, has expressed its willingness to cooperate with the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports to develop the game in Egypt.

La Liga has taken a different approach, placing it at the top of the football pyramid in the world, which has emerged in its quest to open new horizons for further expansion in Africa and the Middle East to enhance its brand and opened the door to cooperation with various countries to develop football.

Daily News Egypt spoke with Fernando Sanz, Director of Institutional Relations and La Liga Ambassadors programme, about what La Liga can offer to contribute to the development of the football industry in Egypt, what the game needs to keep abreast of what is happening in the world, and his recent visit to Egypt.

Sanz started his football career at the Real Madrid Academy, and then moved to Málaga CF. Sanz retired from football in 2006, after Málaga’s relegation, with 240 matches and five goals in the top level to his credit, immediately becoming president of the club after his father bought 97% of its shares. After four years, he resigned on 27 July 2010 as the club was sold earlier in the summer to a Qatari investor.

You recently visited Egypt, we would like to know more about the reasons of this visit, and did you achieve the visit’s goal(s)?

I have been in Egypt to inaugurate the La Liga Space and interactive fan zone of La Liga where we highlighted the African talents that play in La Liga this season and also all of the ones that played historically in the best league in the world.

What are your plans for the Egyptian market?

Egypt is a very interesting market for La Liga as we have millions of fans that watch Spanish football every year.

Since 2015, the league has been working to create commercial opportunities and visibility across the continent and Egypt is no exception. Orange Egypt, for example, has been an official Telecom partner of La Liga for the past four years.

More recently, La Liga opened academies in Cairo in September of 2018, with almost 100 children enrolled, while over 1,000 Egyptian students have been reached through cultural seminars in collaboration with the embassy of Spain.

We recently participated at AFCON 2019 through our La Liga Space. Through this activation, we were able to demonstrate La Liga’s ongoing commitment to African football and the key role that African football already plays in our competition.

La Liga has a sponsor, Orange Egypt since 2015, we have an educational partner, ESLSCA Business School, and we run sports management courses with them, projects with the Spanish embassy. Very interesting projects to come soon.

Reflecting on the strength of this relationship, the ESLSCA Business School’s Cairo campus was chosen as the location for the first international course when La Liga Business School began its global expansion earlier in 2019.

It has been previously reported that you are planning to collaborate with the EFA on the VAR technology, what details can you share about this collaboration?

We have met the EFA and discussed many possibilities of collaboration. We are pleased to work with football institutions as we are doing in several countries to take the football industry to the next level in a global perspective.

What does the Egyptian football lack to be an integrated industry?

Interchange know-how with foreign institutions is a fruitful way to learn from each other towards professionalisation of the football industry.

How can La Liga help/support Egyptian football in general?

La Liga has academies in Egypt since September 2018 with up to 130 kids nowadays, and we have Spanish coaches on the ground. Our aim with the academies is to transfer know-how. Also, over 1,000 Egyptian students have been reached through cultural seminars in collaboration with the embassy of Spain.

We have been in touch with the EFA and the Ministry of Sports, and we are willing to collaborate with such institutions for the development of football in Egypt.

Are you solely focused on Egypt or do you have plans to spread in other countries?

La Liga strives daily to promote Spanish football beyond its borders with the goal of creating a community of fans across the globe, especially in Africa.

We have 11 offices worldwide and 45 delegates/representatives all over the globe. We have two international offices in Africa. The first office was launched in 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the second office was launched a year later in Lagos, Nigeria.

Additionally, La Liga has delegates in Kenya, Morocco, Egypt, Tanzania, Angola, Cameroon, and Senegal whose mission is to help enhance the La Liga brand value on the international stage, increasing the number of global followers and driving greater interest in the competition, as well as creating business opportunities both for La Liga and its clubs in Africa.

Why are you focused on branching out internationally and what are the outcomes of these international endeavours?

Since 2013, when our President Javier Tebas took office, we focused on the centralisation of TV rights, financial control of the teams, and fight against piracy.

Our strategy now has changed to become a global player in sports and entertainment industry, for that we are focusing on being digital, innovative, and international, as well as increasing our brand value.

Since 2013, our audience has doubled reaching almost 3 billion people last season and the TV rights are reaching €21bn.

We are focused on being international because the largest number of La Liga fanbase comes from overseas.

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AFCON19 venues should stay open after renovation: stadiums committee head https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/27/afcon19-venues-should-stay-open-after-renovation-stadiums-committee-head/ Sat, 27 Jul 2019 07:00:51 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=703570 Current football infrastructure enables Egypt to host FIFA World Cup, says Abdulla

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The Egyptian stadiums which hosted the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 (AFCON19) were in tip-top condition. They met all the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) requirements, although the task was given to Egypt on such short notice (only five months) after the CAF deemed Cameroon not ready to host.

Ahmad Abdulla, head of the AFCON19 Stadiums committee, called for the need to preserve what has been accomplished in the six stadiums where the AFCON19 matches were played, namely Cairo International, Alexandria, 30 June, Al Salam, New Suez, and Ismailia stadiums.

Abdulla is a dentist and former player of Zamalek during 1990s. He served as football manager of Zamalek under French coach Henri Michel in 2007. Daily News Egypt spoke with Abdulla about the success story of AFCON19 and how Egypt can maintain the stadiums in good condition after the end of the tournament.

How could Egypt succeed in hosting AFCON19 on such short notice?

Thanks to the youth who worked in the development of stadiums and the organisation of the tournament. The state also facilitated all procedures and provided all resources.

How can we benefit from this success in the future?

With the development of stadiums, introducing electronic entry and exit system of spectators, and providing high-quality TV broadcasting, we can say that the football system in Egypt has seen a boom. We should benefit from this situation through keeping stadiums open for local league, providing regular maintenance for sports facilities, and allowing fans to attend matches at stadiums using the huge database collected by Tazkarti app.

The football situation in Egypt seems vague, do you think the Egyptian Football Association’s (EFA) election can be the beginning of reform?

The election does not always introduce the best solution. It is necessary to raise the awareness of the EFA general assembly through seminars, and to develop new regulations that serve the game in Egypt.

We should help clubs to develop themselves to produce a better product. The English Premier League is run by a company that has nothing to do with football, however, it has the best league in the world.

We should benefit from such successful experiences. We should regulate the transfer of coaches and players among the league clubs, along with addressing the monopoly of some agents on all players.

Can you elaborate about the development process of AFCON19 venues?

Cairo International Stadium received the largest share of development among the six stadiums. It was completely changed. New dressing room were built to meet the world-class standards. It was almost the case in Alexandria Stadium, where the pitch was completely renovated and new dressing rooms were built.

The pitches and lightning system of New Suez, Ismailia, and Al Salam stadiums were completely changed. The 30 June Stadium was developed by the stadium’s administration. A private company took over the renovation of Cairo Stadium’s pitch, while another company changed the pitches of Alexandria, Ismailia, Al Salam, and New Suez stadiums. The construction works in in Cairo Stadium were implemented by Arab Contractors. Hassan Allam was responsible for the constructions in other stadiums, except 30 June.

What about the training playgrounds?

The Ministry of Youth and Sports has developed the training playgrounds of Railway Club, El-Nasr Sporting, the Cairo Stadium, Shams SC, Olympic Club, Al Ittihad Alexandria Club, and the Alexandria University Stadium. Other clubs developed their playgrounds, such as Al Mokawloon Al Arab, Wadi Degla, and PetroSport. The Suez Canal Authority developed five playgrounds.

How do you assess Egypt’s hosting of the tournament?

There were 24 teams in this tournament for the first time and there were no complaints. The state provided all required facilities. After the tournament, Algeria’s star Riyad Mahrez praised the high-quality of stadiums and good organisation.

Can Egypt host the FIFA World Cup?

The current football infrastructure enables Egypt to host FIFA World Cup. But we need to provide regular maintenance to these stadiums. The World Cup has eight teams more than AFCON; Port Said or Aswan stadiums can be developed and host them, in addition to Borg El Arab stadium. We can also use El Gouna and the Military College stadiums. There are many solutions. We already have 32 ready training playgrounds.

How did Egypt benefit from the tournament?

We now have a large group of youth who are capable of doing the job professionally. The state proved its ability to host any big sports event. We also now have developed infrastructure that helps Egypt to host any tournament in the future.

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Algeria win second AFCON title, ending West Africa’s dominance https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/21/algeria-win-second-afcon-title-ending-west-africas-dominance/ Sat, 20 Jul 2019 22:59:16 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=703150 The Desert Warriors crowned their first AFCON title in 1990.

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Algeria won their second Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title last Friday, bringing the golden trophy back to North Africa after nine years of absence since Egypt won the title in 2010.

The Desert Warriors crowned their first AFCON title in 1990.

Algeria won 1-0 over Senegal in the final, ending West Africa’s dominance of the continental championship, with Nigeria winning the tournament in 2013, Ivory Coast in 2015, and Cameroon in 2017.

Egypt was the last North African to crown the AFCON title in 2010 hosted by Angola. The Pharaohs dominated the tournament in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

Ismaël Bennacer named Best Player in AFCON 2019

Algerian star Ismaël Bennacer, 21, wrote his name in the football history of the continent after presenting a remarkable performance throughout the tournament winning the Man of the Match twice and the Best Player of the Tournament award.

Bennacer was born in Arles, France to a Moroccan father and an Algerian mother. He has three nationalities, Algerian, Moroccan, and French.

He had previously represented France at youth level, playing four games with U18 team and five games with U21 team.

In 2016, the Algerian Football Federation (FAF) announced that Bennacer had opted to switch his international allegiance and represent Algeria internationally. He debuted for the Algeria national team in a 2017 AFCON qualifier against Lesotho.

In the beginning, there was a conflict between the Royal Moroccan Football Federation and FAF over the young player but Bennacer chose to play for Algeria.

Bennacer began his professional career with French AC Arles and then moved to Arsenal in 2015.

He made his Arsenal debut in the League Cup on 27 October 2015. On 31 January 2017, it was announced that Bennacer would join Ligue 2 side Tours on loan for the remainder of the 2016–17 season. Now, he plays as a midfielder for Italian club Empoli.

Bennacer is the second Algerian to win the AFCON Best Player award after Rabah Madjer in 1990.

Rais M’Bolhi wins Best Goalkeeper award

Algeria’s Rais M’Bolhi won the Best Goalkeeper award in the AFCON 2019. He was one of the most important players in the team. He presented a stunning performance throughout this tournament, with four clean sheets and only two goals conceded in seven matches.

M’Bolhi has now 15 AFCON appearances, beating former Algerian goalkeeper Mehdi Cerbah who was among the Algerian team crowned the AFCON title in 1990.

M’Bolhi was born in Paris, France to a Congolese father and Algerian mother.

In the beginning, he played for France U17 national team in November 2002. In June 2004, he received his first and only call-up to France U18 national team for a tournament in Salerno.

Then, he was called up by the Algerian U17 national Team but was not released by his club Olympique de Marseille. In May 2010, M’Bohli made his debut for Algeria in a 3–0 loss against Ireland after coming on as a second-half substitute.

He presented a remarkable performance with the Algerian national team in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

M’Bolhi started his career at 18 years old with RCF Paris. Then, he joined Olympique de Marseille, though he never made a league appearance before his release in January 2006.

He played for different clubs in Cyprus, Greece, Russia, Japan, Scotland, the United States, Bulgaria, and Turkey.

After 10 years of Omdurman match, Egyptians support Algeria

A hysterical joy dominated the fans of Algeria after their win of the AFCON 2019 and took to the streets in Cairo to celebrate the historic victory.

Thousands of Algerians rallied in the streets and hundreds of Egyptians gathered to congratulate them for the winning the title.

Celebrations were also rocking Algeria and France where thousands gathered holding the Algerian flags. The 5 July 1962 Stadium in Algiers hosted 80,000 people to watch the game on large screens.

After the Desert Warriors won the AFCON title, the Egyptians launched several hashtags on social media congratulating the Algerians.

The Egyptian fans supported the Algerian national team, despite the long-time rift between the football of the two countries. The two countries are in North Africa, only separated by Libya, and football matches between them are fiercely contested local derbies.

The two teams were in Group C in the CAF section of the qualifying competition for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In November 2009, the teams met in a one-game play-off to decide the qualifier at Al Merreikh Stadium in Omdurman which was selected by FIFA.

Egyptian news media ran many stories about attacks that allegedly targeted the Egyptian fans in Sudan. Al-Ahram, a state-owned Egyptian newspaper, reported that buses designated for Egyptian fans to be taken to the airport had been destroyed, forcing them to walk there under escort of the Sudanese army. According to Al-Ahram, Sudanese diplomats suggested “scores” of Egyptians had been attacked and “a few” hurt.

After Egypt’s loss of the match, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) filed a complaint with FIFA against Algeria. The EFA indicated that “Egyptian fans, officials and players put their lives at risk before and after the game, under threat from weapons, knives, swords and flares.” The statement also threatened with the Egyptian football team’s withdrawal for two years from all international competitions as a sign of protest. On 18 May 2010, FIFA announced that the conditions for opening disciplinary proceedings had not been met and closed the complaint.

After 10 years of this incident, the Egyptian fans attending the AFCON final at the Cairo Stadium raised supporting banners for Algeria, some read “Algeria in the heart of Egyptians.”

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Algerian team came to Cairo to win AFCON title: Djamel Belmadi https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/18/algerian-team-came-to-cairo-to-win-afcon-title-djamel-belmadi/ Thu, 18 Jul 2019 08:00:34 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=703056 In 2010, Belmadi was appointed as the head coach of Qatar Stars League’s Lekhwiya. In his first season with the club, he led them to the 2010/11 Qatar Stars League title, for the first time in the club's history.

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The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations proved that national coaches are more efficient with the African teams. The two teams in the final game are led by two national coaches; Aliou Cissé of Senegal and Djamel Belmadi of Algeria, who is now favourite for the Best Coach in AFCON award.

Belmadi was born on 25 March 1976 in Champigny-sur-Marne, France. He started his playing career at Paris Saint-Germain, making his debut in January 1996 against Gueugnon before spending a season at Martigues which was playing in the Division 2 of French league. He spent the 1997/98 season at Marseille, and then moved to Cannes for the 1998/99 season. In August 1999, he was signed again by Marseille, but immediately went on loan to Spanish club Celta Vigo.

In January 2000, Belmadi returned to Marseille, eventually securing a regular place in the first team’s midfield in 2000/01.

In January 2003, he joined Manchester City on loan after a successful trial. In August 2003, he was released by Marseille and played the 2003/04 and 2004/05 seasons in Qatar with Al-Ittihad and Al-Kharitiyath.

In July 2005, after trials at Celtic, Wigan Athletic, and Sunderland, Belmadi joined Southampton (then played in the Football League Championship) for a one-month contract, and he made his debut on 6 August 2005 in a 0–0 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers. His contract was extended until the end of the 2005/06 season after impressive performances in his early games. He concluded his career in 2009 with Valenciennes FC in France.

Belmadi made his debut for Algeria on 9 July 2000 against Morocco. He was part of the Algerian national team in the 2004 AFCON, in which they finished second in their group in the first round of competition before being defeated by Morocco in the quarter-finals.

He last played for Algeria in a World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe on 20 June 2004, having made 20 appearances scoring 5 goals.

In 2010, Belmadi was appointed as the head coach of Qatar Stars League’s Lekhwiya. In his first season with the club, he led them to the 2010/11 Qatar Stars League title, for the first time in the club’s history.

In December 2013, he was appointed as head coach of the Qatar B team, which was set to participate in the 2014 WAFF Championship. Qatar were crowned champions of the 2014 WAFF Championship.

On 15 March 2014, he was unveiled as the new head coach of the Qatar senior football team. His first match as Qatar coach was a 0–0 draw with Macedonia. He led his team to victories over Australia, Lebanon, and Uzbekistan in friendly matches.

Belmadi led Qatar to win 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations by beating hosts Saudi Arabia in the final. However, Qatar showed a poor performance in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and were eliminated in the group stage after three consecutive defeats by the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Bahrain. He was dismissed from his post on 30 April 2015.

On 19 June 2015, he was appointed for the second time in his career to coach Lekhwiya, he was a replacement for Michael Laudrup. On 2 August 2018, he was appointed as head coach of the Algeria national team.

Daily News Egypt had the opportunity to speak with Belmadi ahead of the 2019 AFCON final to learn about his assessment of Algeria’s exciting run in the tournament and his prediction for the final game in Cairo. The transcript of the interview is below, lightly edited for clarity:

How do you see Algeria’s journey in AFCON 2019?

It was a tough campaign. The Algerian team came to Cairo to win the AFCON title. We exerted great efforts to achieve this goal. We played each match in the group stage as if it was the final. We managed to top our group and played brilliantly in the knock-out stages until we reached where we are now.

What was the most difficult game for Algeria in the tournament?

All the games we played were very difficult. All our opponents were strong, especially in the quarter-final against Ivory Coast and the semi-final against Nigeria. We succeeded in the end to overcome all these obstacles.

What did you tell Baghdad Bounedjah after he missed the penalty against Ivory Coast in the quarter-final?

Bounedjah is one of the best strikers I have ever coached. Missing a penalty is not the end of the world. On the contrary, I insisted that he plays the whole game. I spoke to him after we won to condoles him, as he entered in a crying spell after the game. I am confident he will play a big role in winning the AFCON title and will present a top performance against Senegal.

How do you see Algeria’s chances to win the AFCON title?

We a fifty-fifty chance. We defeated Senegal 0-1 in the group stage, but the final is completely different from any other game. It will be a tough game for both teams. I wish to win the title to be our gift to the Algerian people.

Do you think Senegal have become stronger in the playoffs?

Certainly, they reach the final after beating many strong teams, such as Tunisia in the semi-finals. We studied Senegal very well as they have very good players, such as Sadio Mané.

How would the Algerian defence deal with Mané?

Senegal is not only about Mané. He is a great player as I said, and he plays an important role with this national team and Liverpool, but there are also 10 other players in the Senegalese team.

How do you see the Algerian fans’ effect on the team’s performance?

We certainly have thousands of supporters in Cairo who had a big role in inspiring the players to win all previous games. I expect over 20,000 Algerian spectators will attend the final. I also want to thank the Egyptian people who also supported us throughout the tournament. I hope we can make them happy at the end and return home with the precious trophy.

Riyad Mahrez

Do you think the current Algerian team is the best in the country’s history?

The current generation is very special, as we have many players in top European clubs. They play with a very high spirit and great enthusiasm in every game. I am really proud to train this wonderful generation, and I hope they can follow the footsteps of their predecessors and achieve the continental title to write their names in the history of Algeria football.

Do you think Riyad Mahrez can win the AFCON 2019 Best Player award?

I wish that any Algerian player can win that title. Mahrez has presented a great performance since the beginning of the tournament, and he has great determination and enthusiasm in every game. Algeria has many players who deserves to win this award.

Do you think you can win AFCON 2019 Best Coach award?

I am not looking for individual glory and my only goal now is to win the AFCON title and make the Algerians happy. Of course, winning this award will be wonderful for me, but I am not thinking of it now. All I think about is the Friday’s game against Senegal.

How do you see the individual competition between Mahrez, Mane, and Mohamed Salah?

They are all great players and have made big achievements in Europe. Salah won the Golden Boot of the English Premier League (EPL) twice and Mane once. They both also won the UEFA Champions League. Mahrez won the EPL title with Leicester City and Manchester City. However, Mahrez does not think about this. Our players are 100% focused on winning the title.

Who deserves to be the African Player of the Year in 2019?

As I said, the trio made huge achievements with their clubs. I think this AFCON tournament will determine the winner of this award. I expect Mahrez to get it, after his great efforts with his club and national team.

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Five coaches eliminated early from AFCON https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/12/five-coaches-eliminated-early-from-afcon/ Fri, 12 Jul 2019 13:00:16 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702544 Aguirre was sacked immediately after Egypt’s exit although he topped the list of highest-paid coaches in Africa, with a salary of €180,000 per month. Despite winning all the three games of the group stage, the Egyptian team presented a very poor performance throughout the tournament.

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The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) journey was over for several coaches whose teams exited early from the tournament, either from the group stage or the round of 16, some of them were even favourites for winning the title.

Javier Aguirre – Egypt

Mexican Javier Aguirre, the former coach of the Egyptian national team, was one of the victims of the AFCON 2019, after failing miserably in his first knockout game with the Egyptians against South Africa, even though the tournament is hosted by Egypt.

Egyptian fans had great hopes to win the eighth AFCON title after they lost the final against Cameroon in 2017 edition under former coach Hector Cuper. The Argentinian coach was always criticised for his defensive play, although he led the team to reach the 2018 World Cup after a long absence.

Aguirre was sacked immediately after Egypt’s exit although he topped the list of highest-paid coaches in Africa, with a salary of €180,000 per month. Despite winning all the three games of the group stage, the Egyptian team presented a very poor performance throughout the tournament.

The Mexican coach played 12 games with the Egyptian team; nine victories, two defeats, and a draw.

Clarence Seedorf – Cameroon

The Dutchman Clarence Seedorf’s future with Cameroon is still uncertain, after his disappointing results and early exit from the AFCON.

Although Seedorf ranked second in the list of the highest-paid coaches with a salary of €96,000 per month, the team won once in the group stage and had two draws. In the round of 16, Cameroon lost against Nigeria 2-3 at Alexandria Stadium.

Seedorf played 10 matches with Cameroon; three victories, three defeats, and four draws.

Hervé Renard

French coach Hervé Renard failed surprisingly to lead the Moroccan team to their second AFCON title, after the disappointing defeat in the knockout stage at the hands of Benin on penalties.

The French coach has won two AFCON titles, one with Zambia in 2012, and the other with Ivory Coast in 2015, to be the first coach to win two AFCON titles with two different teams.

Renard ranked third in the list of the highest-paid coaches in the tournament with a salary of €80,000 per month, however, his results with the Atlas Lions were disappointing for the Moroccan people, as they were among the top favourites for winning the title. The star-studded Moroccan team scored only four goals in AFCON.

Renard played 43 games with Morocco, 23 victories, 11 defeats, and nine draws. The Atlas Lions won three games in the AFCON group stage.

Sébastien Desabre

Uganda’s French coach Sébastien Desabre joined the list coaches who exited the AFCON early, when Uganda lost 0-1 to Senegal in the round of 16.

Desabre is ranked 16th in the list of the highest-paid coaches in the tournament with a salary of €18,000 per month.

The Ugandan team could only win a single game in the tournament beating Congo, and lost to Egypt, and drew with Zimbabwe.

Emmanuel Amunike

Tanzania’s Nigeria-born coach Emmanuel Amunike exited the AFCON empty-handed with no points from three games.

Amunike ranked 19th in the list of the highest-paid coaches in the tournament with a salary of €9,000 per month.

He led the Tanzanian team in nine games; two victories, six defeats, and a draw.

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Tunisia clashes with AFCON dark horse Madagascar https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/11/tunisia-clashes-with-afcon-dark-horse-madagascar/ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 19:00:18 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702545 Madagascar’ s President Andry Rajoelina will attend the match to support his team

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Tunisia will face Madagascar on Thursday in the last game of the quarter-finals in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) at El-Salam Stadium.

The Eagles of Carthage enter the game with a high morale after beating Ghana on penalties in the round of 16, moving a step further towards achieving the second AFCON title.

Tunisia had a disappointing run in the group stage failing to win any of their games, however, they hope to repeat the 2016 EURO scenario in which Portugal won the title after three draws in the group stage.

Tunisia’s French coach Alain Giresse depends on building attacks from deep, especially as the team has a strong forward trio, namely Taha Yassine Khenissi, Anice Badri, and Youssef Msakni.

The expected Tunisian squad will include goalkeeper Mouez Hassan; Wajdi Kechrida, Yassine Meriah, Oussama Haddadi, and Rami El-Badawi in the defence; Ghaylène Chaalali, Ferjani Sassi, and Elias Sukhairi in the midfield; Taha Yassine Khenissi, Anice Badri, and Youssef Msakni.

On the other hand, the debutants Madagascar seeks to continue their spectacular run in the championship and go further.

Madagascar’s French coach Nicolas Dupuis will definitely benefit from the country’s President Andry Rajoelina’s presence in the match to encourage the team to win and qualify for the semi-finals.

Madagascar rely on counter-attacks and flank attacks as most of the players are tall and have the ability to deal very well with crossings.

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AFCON quarter-finals: Desert Warriors face Ivorian Elephants in early final https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/11/afcon-quarter-finals-desert-warriors-face-ivorian-elephants-in-early-final/ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 18:00:21 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702543 Egyptian fans would support Algeria in quarters

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Ivory Coast will meet Algeria in a strong clash in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) at the New Suez Stadium.

Algeria’s Desert Warriors reached the quarters after beating Guinea 3-0 in the last-16 round at the 30 June Stadium. While the Ivorian Elephants clinched a precious 1-0 victory over Mali at the New Suez Stadium.

Algeria played Ivory Coast in 20 games before, with six victories for the North Africans and seven wins for the Ivorians. They met in nine AFCON games, with three victories for Algeria and 4 wins for the Ivorians.

Ivory Coast won the AFCON title twice in 1992 and 2015, while Algeria won the continental title once in 1990.

Algeria aims to achieve Arab teams’ first AFCON title in nine years, since the 2010 edition won by Egypt.

Algeria have been presenting a strong performance since the AFCON started under the leadership of national coach Djamel Belmadi, making them one of the strongest favourites.

However, Belmadi knows very well that their opponents have a great expertise in the tournament and high-level players, most of whom are in largest European clubs.

The game will be like an early final, so the President of the Algerian Football Federation, Kheireddine Zetchi, announced sending Algerian fans on special flights to Egypt to support their national team in the quarter-finals. Egyptian fans have been also supporting Algeria since the beginning of the tournament.

Coach of Ivory Coast, Ibrahim Kamara, said that he was hoping not to face Algeria in this stage, noting that

overcoming Algeria would be a big step towards achieving the AFCON title.

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EFA in hot water over Pharaohs AFCON elimination https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/08/efa-in-hot-water-over-pharaohs-afcon-elimination/ Mon, 08 Jul 2019 20:58:16 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702163 Three lawsuits filed against board members requesting an investigation

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The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) and the national football squad have been in hot water following the Pharaohs loss of 0-1 by South Africa and their ousting from stage 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Saturday.

A number of MPs filled requests demanding an investigation into alleged corruption and wasting public funds within the EFA. They also demand the summoning of the Minister of Youth and Sports, Ashraf Sobhy, to parliament.

In a statement, Soliman Wahdan, deputy parliament speaker, called for actual accountability for whoever was responsible for “this fiasco,” and the state of sadness that overwhelmed Egyptians fans over the sudden, but expected, defeat due to the low performance in the AFCON.

Wahdan also referred to the decision of expelling midfielder Amr Warda from the squad over sexual harassment allegations and then his return to the team after his colleagues, especially Liverpool Forward, Mohamed Salah, and team captain and Aston Villa player, Ahmed Elmohamady, pushed for his restoration and for giving Warda a second chance.

MP Abdel Hameed Kamal also urged an investigation over alleged “waste of public funds” inside the football community in Egypt and the need to hold those who failed to conduct their responsibilities appropriately accountable.

In the same context, three reports were filled on Sunday for the prosecutor general’s office against the president of the EFA and the board members. Samir Sabry, the controversial lawyer, filed a claim to investigate alleged corruption which led to such results at the AFCON.

Following Saturday’s shock defeat, the EFA board members including its head, Hany Abo Rida, announced their resignation and sacked the Egyptian national team technical staff headed by Mexican coach, Javier Aguirre. Abo Rida called on other members to submit their resignation too.

 

Almost all Egyptian media websites, TV, and newspapers, including the state-owned and private ones, followed on Monday the defeat with a wide coverage bashing the misconduct of the team and the EFA.

The EFA board members were cited as “failures and corrupt” on a private newspaper front page. Moreover, some team players came under intense criticism over their performances in the games.

Some media, which previously defended Warda, now reported that “Warda’s sexual harassment ruined the national team camp,” urging an investigation. 

Other newspapers cited the defeat as a “humiliating elimination.” Inside newspapers issues, there were pages which analysed the reasons for the defeat and blame a number of players and the EFA for the loss.

Salah, who also came under fire recently over his defence of Warda, expressed his sadness over the AFCON host’s elimination. 

“I am deeply sad for our early exit from the AFCON,” Salah tweeted on Sunday. “We hoped to continue our journey together and to win the championship for our loyal fans, who I want to thank them for their support.”

“I hope we could learn from our mistakes,” Salah continued.

On June 24, Warda was expelled from the squad after the British-Egyptian model, Merhan Keller, posted screenshots of “inappropriate and lewd messages”, which she said Warda sent to her.

Another woman also posted that the young player, who is accused of previous sexual harassment incidents, purportedly sent her “aggressive videos and messages.”

Afterwards, Warda posted an 18-second apology for his family and colleagues in the squad, however, he did not apologise to the women who accused him of sexual harassment. He then returned to the team and took part in the second half of Saturday’s game.

However, fans and users went to social media to express their comments over Warda and Salah as well as the national team defeat. Hashtags such as “the squad of harassers” was trending following the exit from the squad. Fans blame the team for its performance in the championship and the EFA.

 

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AFCON fairy-tales: debutants Madagascar through to quarter-finals, Nigeria beat holders Cameroon https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/08/afcon-fairy-tales-debutants-madagascar-through-to-quarter-finals-nigeria-beat-holders-cameroon/ Mon, 08 Jul 2019 08:20:08 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702069 Madagascar took a surprise lead through Ibrahim Amada's superb 20-yard strike before Cedric Bakambu equalised with a header.

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In another thrilling surprise in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), debutants Madagascar produced beat DR Congo 4-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw and seal a quarter-final spot.

Madagascar took a surprise lead through Ibrahim Amada’s superb 20-yard strike before Cedric Bakambu equalised with a header.

The Indian Ocean islanders restored their lead through Faneva Andriatsima’s header before Chancel Mbemba’s 90th minute equaliser forced extra-time. Madagascar scored all their penalties.

On Friday, the Nigerian team continued their impressive performance in AFCON, as they beat the title holders Cameroon 3-2 at Alexandria Stadium.

The Nigerians were full of happiness after qualifying, expressing hope to win the quarter-final clash on Wednesday against South Africa, which was able to beat the hosts Egypt 1-0 on Saturday.

Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr promised the Nigerian fans to present a special performance in the quarter-finals, especially as they learned not to underestimate the opponents as was the case with Madagascar in the group stage, which cost them a 0-2 loss against the AFCON debutants.

Nigeria has now a good chance to win the title, especially after Egypt, Morocco, and Cameroon were knocked out. If they won, it would be their fourth title after winning in 1980, 1994, and 2013.

The Nigerian team is due to continue their training for the quarter-finals on Monday, then move from Alexandria, where they played all group stage games and the round of 16, to Cairo to meet South Africa on Wednesday.

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Calls for accountability over Pharaohs’ early exit from AFCON https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/08/calls-for-accountability-over-pharaohs-early-exit-from-afcon/ Mon, 08 Jul 2019 08:00:33 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702067 Taha Ismail, the former national team coach, told Daily News Egypt that the selection of Javier Aguirre to train the Pharaohs was a mistake from the very beginning because he has never coached a national team and has no experience of playing in Africa.

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Egyptian football fans were in shock as the national team were eliminated on Saturday from the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after losing 0-1 to South Africa in the last 16 stage. This was the first time for Egypt to be knocked out from AFCON that early while hosting the tournament.

Losing in sports is always acceptable, but corruption and negligence cannot be tolerated.

Taha Ismail, the former national team coach, told Daily News Egypt that the selection of Javier Aguirre to train the Pharaohs was a mistake from the very beginning because he has never coached a national team and has no experience of playing in Africa.

Ayman Younis, a former player in Zamalek, said the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) intervened repeatedly in the national team’s technical issues, namely forcing the coaching staff to include Abdullah Al-Saeed and Waleed Soliman to the squad, noting that both were a disappointment. Aguirre had to change his play formation from 4-3-3 to 4-3-2-1 to fit Al-Saeed.

Aguirre said, in the press conference following the Saturday match, that the main reason for Egypt’s defeat was that South Africa were luckier to turn their chances into goals, while the Egyptian players failed to score due to the Bafana Bafana’s strong defence.

“I am proud of the players that I have chosen. During the group stage, they were good,” Aguirre stated.

“Everyone is sad because of the early exit from AFCON. I took the responsibility for the elimination of the team because I chose those players and the play formation,” he added.

Hany Ramzy, Egypt’s assistant coach, said, “I apologise to the Egyptian people for their support and special thanks to the Egyptian state, which has not saved up any support and effort to support the team.”

Dismissal of national team’s coaching staff and EFA’s board resign

In the first reaction to Egypt’s early exit from AFCON, Hany Abu Rida, president of the EFA, decided to sack the coaching and technical staff of the team, before announcing his resignation. The EFA’s board followed Abu Rida’s steps and resigned after meeting the Minister of Youth and Sports, Ashraf Sobhy.

Chaos took over most of the EFA decisions in the recent period, including their inability to properly schedule the Premier League fixtures, not to mention the continuous issues of listing players in clubs.

The most significant problem that shacked the EFA was the exclusion of Amr Warda from the team after he was accused of sexual harassment during his presence in the team’s camp, and then allowing the player to return due to the players’ pressure.

Moreover, hours before Egypt’s match against South Africa, the EFA board member Ahmed Megahed accused his board colleague Magdy Abdel Ghany, and others, of selling the game tickets on the informal market.

A verbal clash erupted between Megahed and Abdel Ghani after the latter requested EGP 261,000 worth tickets for Egypt’s game, but Megahed, who is in charge of tickets distribution, refused.

Sports Minister forms a committee to manage EFA temporarily

Minister of Youth and Sports, Ashraf Sobhy, considers forming an interim committee, headed by Essam Abdel-Moneim, a former EFA president, to manage the association temporarily.

The committee shall call for an urgent general assembly to elect a new board.

According to sources in the ministry of sports, Sobhy obtained the Egyptian and international Olympic committees’ approvals to conclude this step.

Main reasons behind Egypt’s AFCON exit

The early elimination of the Egyptian team was shocking but realistic. The selection of the Egyptian squad for AFCON was marred by controversy from the very beginning. The coaching staff, selected by EFA board member Abdel Ghany, also stirred debate. The goalkeeper coach Ahmed Nagy and the team’s director Ehab Leheta continued in their positions since the 2018 World Cup failure, and Hany Ramzy was included although he had low-profile coaching experience with all the teams he managed since retiring as a player. The Pharaohs appeared in the tournament with their weakest squad in the AFCON history.

Aguirre’s lack of experience in dealing with African teams and the Amr Warda case contributed also to the disappointing end. Dealing with Warda crisis showed the weakness of the EFA and that some players are stronger than those responsible for the football in Egypt.

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Celebrating AFCON, Egypt allow Africans to visit tourist attractions at local prices  https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/06/celebrating-afcon-egypt-allow-africans-to-visit-tourist-attractions-at-local-prices/ Sat, 06 Jul 2019 19:41:53 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=701889 It comes in line with Egypt’s hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), as thousands of African natives are visiting Egypt currently to support their football teams.

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The Minister of Antiquities, Khaled El-Anany, announced allowing African tourists to visit Egyptian museums and tourist attractions with the same entry fees of locals until the end of 2019, according to local media outlets.

It comes in line with Egypt’s hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), as thousands of African natives are visiting Egypt currently to support their football teams.

El-Anany expressed his pleasure with the huge number of African visitors, whom he described as “our brothers.” The African tourist inflow started since the beginning of the AFCON last month.

The minster further added that Egypt dazzled the world with the championship’s stunning opening ceremony, explaining that it was organised in the “best possible way.”

The AFCON started on 21 June and will run until 19 July, with the participation of 24 national teams from across the continent. 

At AFCON’s opening ceremony, the ministry of antiquities features a statue of the famous Egyptian king Tutankhamen, at Cairo International Stadium’s entrance, aiming to promote the ancient Egyptian civilisation.

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Egypt seeks to host UEFA Super Cup, Supercoppa Italiana, or Spanish Supercopa: Abu Rida https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/02/egypt-seeks-to-host-uefa-super-cup-supercoppa-italiana-or-spanish-supercopa-abu-rida/ Tue, 02 Jul 2019 19:32:01 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=701571 Problem with ticket system is primarily security, it is easy to stadiums for the masses, says EFA President

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Hany Abu Rida, President of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) and chairperson of the organizing committee of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), said that Egypt is seeking to host the UEFA Super Cup and is ready to host the 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations

which qualifies for the Olympics.

He added that Egypt can, after investing in stadiums, host any tournament any time.

Abu Rida pointed out that the date of hosting and applying to host the UEFA Super Cup has not been set, along with other attempts to host the Italian super cup (Supercoppa Italiana) or the Spanish super cup (Spanish Supercopa ) and will be determined in the future.

Regarding the issue of Amr Warda, Abu Rida explained, during the press conference on Tuesday, that the suspension was aimed to amend his behaviour, shrugging the idea that players are more powerful than EFA.

“Everyone is united, and we are trying to deal with the problems quickly to continue tour path towards the AFCON title,” he stressed.

He said that the problem in the ticket system is primarily security. It is easy to open the stadiums for the masses, however for the security of the Egypt’s guest fans from other nation’s the EFA doesn’t do that.

He pointed out that he is in talks with all ministries to find alternative solutions after the beginning of the knock-out stages.

Nathalie Rabe – Director of Communications – Confederation of African Football (CAF), said that the organizing committee and the CAF have received more than 2,800 applications to attend AFCON, 1,800 of which have been approved.

She confirmed that the procedures for attending matches must be done one day prior to the game, since all 1,800 journalists cannot attend at the same time.

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Egypt seeks perfection in AFCON: Fadl https://dnsvvvvvdnsx17539dnscf.wsjme.com/2019/07/01/egypt-seeks-perfection-in-afcon-fadl/ Mon, 01 Jul 2019 20:26:04 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=701454 "When we targeted organising the championship, we worked a lot with the help of the state. We were seeking perfection," Fadl said at a Cairo press conference.

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Mohamed Fadl, director of AFCON, hosted by Egypt until July 19, said Egypt is considering thorough details in terms of organising the entire event.

“When we targeted organising the championship, we worked a lot with the help of the state. We were seeking perfection,” Fadl said at a Cairo press conference.

“The championship is not just another football event, but rather a reflection of our country abroad,” he said. “There may be disadvantages that we are trying to avoid, and we strive for perfection in everything,” Fadl added.

“We have tried facilitating granting visas to the fans. It has become very easy for new fans to come to the tournament, and we are working to make it easy to get tickets for matches, as well as take into consideration all additional requests,” Fadl shared.

He said that there is keenness to provide everything, which is a positive burden on the countries that will host the tournament in the future, and the goal is to have Africans start talking about what they saw in Egypt.

Fadl explained that by the end of the tournament there will be a full declaration of everything about the tournament and about match attendance by fans from abroad. There is a large audience from Algeria, and no restrictions on fans. There is also keenness on solving all issues that occur.

Fadl noted that Egypt is ready for the championship and provides security for all fans so that they can cheer in peace.

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