Soccer News of Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Egypt remains in a state of grief following the 6-1 thrashing of the Pharaohs by the Black Stars in the 2014 FIFA World Cup playoff last Tuesday in Kumasi.
The resounding victory puts the Stars in a good stead to complete a hat-trick of appearances at the Mundial after 2006 (in Germany) and 2010 (in South Africa). But for many Egyptians, the result serves the biggest pill ever forced down their throats in as many decades.
Heavy faces depicted the moods of the Egyptians famed for their undying love for their national teams, after the match, as the drop of a pin could be heard in suburbs such as New Cairo, Katameya, Arabella and Maadi, located in the over 20-million populated capital, Cairo toured by the GNA Sports.
The whole of Egypt was in a festive mood due to the Eid Adha celebrations, but their joy was cut short following the humiliation handed the Pharaohs.
Though a public holiday, most families opted to remain indoors but the nature of the scoreline further saw most persons cut short their night outs to the shopping malls and sports clubs.
The usual honking of cars and waving of Egyptian flags after games were missing as the busy roads such as the Ring Road, 6th October City express way went dead, with a countable number of cars enjoying the five-lane stretch.
The Coffee shops were equally affected as they were deserted on Tuesday night with a majority of them going close after the game. Mohamed Sadek, a student of 6th October University describes the result to GNA Sports as the worst in his 25-years of existence and supporting the national team.
“I could not believe my eyes. I knew it was going to be difficult but 6-1, I never imagined. The World Cup dream is over,” he said.
Amar Fawaz, a dyed-in-the-wool Ahly fan has tagged the day a ‘black Tuesday’ for Egyptian football saying “we were totally outplayed. We were out of sort. I will be at the stadium in the return leg but I don’t think the result on that day will make any difference.”
However in suburbs such as Beecho Complex and Maadi, pockets of black Africans partied quietly especially the Ghanaian Muslim community.
A section of Ghanaian Muslims organized a get together to mark the Eid Adha and despite not watching the game, the sound of the music went louder when news filtered in that Ghana had beaten Egypt 6-1.
“I will party throughout the night and during the week. However, I have to pretend not to have an idea of the result of the game when I go to work on Sunday, because they (Egyptians) won’t be happy if you tease them,” observed Fati Awudu, a domestic worker.
With the team, needing to score at least five unanswered goals past the Black Stars in the return encounter on November 19 in Cairo, most of the fans have thrown in the towel and are looking forward to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Meanwhile, there are calls for head coach Bob Bradley to step down ahead of the return encounter.
The American has decided to see out his contract which runs out after the World Cup despite the crushing defeat in Kumasi.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) will make a decision on his future upon the team’s return to Cairo on Wednesday.