Zahi's Notes: Behavior of Egyptian and Algerian Fans Is Shameful
When I read the articles in the papers of Algeria and Egypt, I wonder whether some nations should have sports competitions on their agendas. Some writers seem to think that the two countries are at war.
It seems that the countries have no democratic institutions whatsoever and, in reality, have surrendered their dreams of social and economical satisfaction. It doesn't seem like they can take it when they lose yet another "dream".
This has happened several times in the history of many of the small countries' federations; a team loses a crucial game and right after that, the whole country calls for the head of the coach.
And even worse can happen. If the national team loses, the whole nation could claim that the referee is the reason, or the players have "betrayed" the country's people.
Before their national team's crucial group stage game against Algeria, Egyptian fans attacked the bus of the Algerian team. After Egypt won the match, many Egyptian corporations in Algeria were harmed and had to close after threats and attacks.
In Sudan, where the final playoff game was held (on a neutral field because it was part of the playoffs), the fans locked horns and fought in chaotic fashion after Algeria won the game.
Meanwhile, Ireland lost to France in a game in which Ireland dominated ball possession and was more dangerous than the French team.
Despite that, Ireland lost because of awful refereeing. But still, Giovanni Trapattoni shook hands with Raymond Domenech.
The Irish are disappointed. But they will not blame Trapattoni or the players. They know that they should be united in victory and in defeat.
That is simply not the case in Egypt.
Let us not forget that Egypt has won the last two African Cup of Nations. Egypt defeated Italy and had a historic game against Brazil in the Confederations Cup last year.
The Egyptians were led to all these major achievements with the same faces on their squad. Their coach, Hasan Shehata, must be credited and not criticized after so many great times and after coming extremely close to World Cup qualification.
The players must receive a standing ovation in Cairo, as I am sure the Irish players will be praised in their own home country.
Sports, after all, are all about discipline, peace, and sportsmanship.
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