12 September 2015
The Egyptian interior ministry, in a potential signal that the country’s military-backed regime recognises that its choking off of all public space could backfire, has agreed to allow fans to attend international matches played by the national team and Egyptian clubs.
In doing so, the ministry de facto acknowledged that it has put itself between a rock and hard place. Many Egyptians blame the national team’s poor performance on the fact that fans have largely not been allowed into stadia to support their squad or their clubs since the popular revolt that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
The continued ban risks the government shouldering the blame for the inability of the national team to maintain a track record of being Africa’s most crowned squad. Egypt’s national team was crushed in June when it was defeated 3-0 by Tanzania in a match in Alexandria from which fans were barred.
… James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies as Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Würzburg and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, and a forthcoming book with the same title.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 23/09/2015