Scotsabroad's Weblog

February 29, 2008

Cairo’s El Ahly

Filed under: sport — scotsabroad @ 7:16 pm

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On Thursday night we managed to go and see an El Ahly game. Cairo has had the replica shirt since last March and he was delighted to finally get the chance to see his Egyptian team. Many of the El Ahly squad had recently played (and retained) the African Cup for Egypt and this was the team’s first opposition since domestic fixtures were put on hold for the tournament. Bizarrely, coming from Scotland,  the opposition for the Champions was difficult to get our heads’ around –  an army sponsored team playing in an armed forces stadium. Indeed one end of the stadium was filled with trucked-in soldiers. Even more bizarrely they were wearing boiler-suits of various rainbow colours. I don’t think they were actually supporters of El Ahly’s opponents but an army crowd-filler made to literally sing and dance for their supper. Their noise and responses had nothing to do with the action on the park. All Egyptian men have to do two years National Service. I asked Richard, a great colleague who accompanied us along with our magic taxi driver Sabah; were the soldiers dressed like this to stop them from sneaking out the ground? You couldn’t get away with hailing a taxi dressed in banana yellow or powder blue. Sabah was in the dog’s house as his wife had just had a baby but he felt duty bound to accompany us. This duty was made bearable as he’s an Ahly supporter as his new son Muhammed will inevitably be.

Abo Treka (No:22) Ahly’s star player was missing and the club’s goalkeeper has recently defected to Switzerland of all places! However the game was very enjoyable and Ahly scored a couple – the second an absolute screamer that had Cairo off his seat and waving his scarf. My most visual memory was seeing thousands of colourful army personnel scramble, climb and fight their way back onto their trucks in clouds of diesel at the end of the game. We will be following the Red Devils again soon.

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1 Comment »

  1. This taxi driver sounds like an old school kinda guy, none of this taking 3 weeks off work and mastering nappies stuff…

    Comment by Gordon — March 7, 2008 @ 7:01 pm | Reply


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