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Egypt: Football Before and After the Revolution

In the past years, football (soccer) used to be the main source for joy for the Egyptian people. The Egyptian football team won the past three African Cups of Nations that were held in Egypt, Ghana and Angola successively. During the championships it was normal to see the people here mesmerized in front of television sets, and ready with their flags and car honks to go down and celebrate in the streets after every victory.

However, yesterday Egypt was playing against South Africa, and it lost in the last minute of the match. There is a big probability now for Egypt not to be qualified to the next championship for the first time in history. But you know, no one in Egypt was sad at all. Some were even happy. Did Egypt's recent revolution have anything to do with this?

Mazen and Yasser believe that Egyptians used football to escape from their daily problems.

@MazenAdel: اول مرة مزعلش ان منتخب مصر اتغلب,زمان كنا بنفرح عشان مفيش غير الكورة يفرحنا,دلوقتى عايشين البديل الاكبر الى بيفرحنا كل يوم ببلدنا
@MazenAdel: For the first time, I am not upset because we lost. In the past, football was the only thing that cheers us up, but now we are living in a bigger alternative that cheers us up everyday.
@yasser.taha: عندما نفقد الوطن نبحث عنة في مبارة كرة قدم ….وعندما نمتلك الوطن لاتفرق معنا مبارة كرة القدم
@yasser.taha: When you lose your country, you look for it in football matches, but when you have it back, you can't care less about football.
Egypt: Taxi Driver Celebrating with Egyptian Flag

Taxi Driver Celebrating with Egyptian Flag, photo copyright Demotix

Also during the protests in Egypt many football players went out in demonstrations to support Hosni Mubarak. About a year and half ago, Mubarak, his media and the football players were about to start a war between Egypt and Algeria and spread loads of lies and hatred towards the Algerian people because of a football match. Almost all of the Egyptians fell prey to those lies then and perhaps that's why they football team is considered by some as a symbol of the corruption of Mubarak's era.

@ktarek78: اللي اتغلب ده منتخب مؤيدي مبارك
@ktarek78: The team that lost is Mubarak's supporters team.
@alibrisha:منتخب مصر مازال يعيش في عصر مبارك يتصرف مثله .. بطء في التفكير.. ضعف في التنفيذ.. فساد في إختيار التشكيل طبقا للواسطة والمحسوبية
@alibrisha: The Egyptian football team still lives in Mubarak's era and acts like him … slow thinker … doesn't take strong/wise actions … full of corruption when it comes to choosing team members.
@Hannah__HK: منتخب مبارك يتنحى أمام منتخب مانديلا
@Hannah__HK: Mubarak's team stepped down in front of Mandela's team.

Not only people weren't sad, but they were also happy because the believe people can focus now more on the political reform taking place in Egypt.

@Sherifmgdy: شكرا جنوب أفريقيا علي دعم مجهودات التحول السياسي في مصر
@Sherifmgdy: Thanks to South Africa for supporting the political reform taking place in Egypt now.
@Nourinho82: كده بقى يا وحوش مفيش منتخب حتى 2014 شوفوا بقى هتضحكوا علينا اذاى؟و اللهى الحكومة دى صعبانه عليا
@Nourinho82: Good, so our national team's schedule is free till 2014. I pity the government now, they have nothing to distract us with.

And finally, Muhammad Habib couldn't prevent himself from poking some fun:

@m7abib:الثورة المضادة: المنتخب مايروحش أصلا بطولة أفريقيا، الجماهير تطالب بعودة مبارك راعي الرياضة الأول في مصر
@m7abib: Counter-Revolution: The National team fails to get qualified for the next championship, and people ask Mubarak to return to rescue sports in Egypt.
  • Grandma

    Don’t lose your ability to enjoy life, sports, accomplishments – KITE FLYING – if you like. Your freedom as a country rests on the individual’s freedom to BE an individual.
    I would suggest you contemplate the wonder that any human being has when looking at a newborn baby – and think of how you might word the basis of your constitution.
    “that all men are endowed by their creator with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
    The potential of each baby does NOT come from the government – and is SO varied and wonderful…..
    As all the flowers of the world are so different, so are people – and with freedom grow into a wonderful, life affirming garden.

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