Egypt Cup Cancelled Amid Sharpening Political Fault Lines

By
at Internationaled.org

Published: February 15, 2011

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The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has cancelled this season’s Egypt’s Cup as political fault lines in Egyptian soccer sharpened by the protests that last week toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak reverberated within one of Egypt’s most storied clubs.

The cancellation of the Egypt Cup comes almost a month after the EFA suspended all professional league matches to prevent soccer pitches from becoming rallying points for Mubarak’s opponents.

Soccer fans played a key role in the protests that virtually paralyzed Egypt for almost three weeks and are part of a wave of anti-government sweeping the Middle East and North Africa.

Soccer also played a key in ensuring the military popular support in Egypt. That support was crucial in enabling the military to force Mubarak to resign and take over the country with the pledge to return it to democracy within six months. The military employed soccer as one tool to garner that support by building stadiums and sponsoring the soccer teams that played in them.

Some soccer fans involved in the protests question the military’s ability to keep its promise. They note that the military has effectively ruled Egypt for almost 60 years and is unlikely to voluntarily dismantle its political power and eliminate its economic privileges.

Instead, these supporters expect the military to retain as much of the old structure as possible repackaged with elections and a greater degree of freedom to make it domestically and internationally palatable. Disappointment in the military’s transition of Egypt could undermine the goodwill it garnered with soccer.

Democratization of Egypt, moreover, is likely to lead to significant restructuring of Egyptian soccer in terms of management, which often had close ties to Mubarak and his cronies, as well as club ownership. A majority of Egyptian clubs are government-owned through ministries and state-o...
Article Source: Bleacher Report - International Football

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Egypt Cup Cancelled Amid Sharpening Political Fault Lines

By
at Internationaled.org

Published: February 15, 2011

commentComment         Print This Post Print This Post

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has cancelled this season’s Egypt’s Cup as political fault lines in Egyptian soccer sharpened by the protests that last week toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak reverberated within one of Egypt’s most storied clubs.

The cancellation of the Egypt Cup comes almost a month after the EFA suspended all professional league matches to prevent soccer pitches from becoming rallying points for Mubarak’s opponents.

Soccer fans played a key role in the protests that virtually paralyzed Egypt for almost three weeks and are part of a wave of anti-government sweeping the Middle East and North Africa.

Soccer also played a key in ensuring the military popular support in Egypt. That support was crucial in enabling the military to force Mubarak to resign and take over the country with the pledge to return it to democracy within six months. The military employed soccer as one tool to garner that support by building stadiums and sponsoring the soccer teams that played in them.

Some soccer fans involved in the protests question the military’s ability to keep its promise. They note that the military has effectively ruled Egypt for almost 60 years and is unlikely to voluntarily dismantle its political power and eliminate its economic privileges.

Instead, these supporters expect the military to retain as much of the old structure as possible repackaged with elections and a greater degree of freedom to make it domestically and internationally palatable. Disappointment in the military’s transition of Egypt could undermine the goodwill it garnered with soccer.

Democratization of Egypt, moreover, is likely to lead to significant restructuring of Egyptian soccer in terms of management, which often had close ties to Mubarak and his cronies, as well as club ownership. A majority of Egyptian clubs are government-owned through ministries and state-o...
Article Source: Bleacher Report - International Football

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