Egypt Vs. Algeria : Football Turning Into Public War

Alaa Kamal
Football is worshiped by the masses . it is  beloved by millions, and  thousands of young Arabs dream that they will one day  famous players. However , it is sport  primarily meant  to develop the competition  and cooperation spirits, and not for spreading  hostility and hatred. now with Egypt vs. Algeria in World Cup  qualifier  match coming in a few hours’,  negative shadows are cast  quickly on the relations between the two Arab peoples.
Football matches between both countries are usually tense  especially  from the Algerian side known for its quick temper and enthusiasm. But tension has never gone this far, life threats , injuries and insults exchanged between officials . Both parties have exchanged accusations, the Egyptian side held  the chairman  of the Algerian Football Federation responsible for the dangerous escalation. On the other side, the Algerian side charged  the Egyptian satellite channels represented in the Dream, Hayat and Modern Sport of the responsibility of the escalation. But things have become  serious when they  moved from  officials and satellite TV programs to the unemployed  masses already  congested to display in the form of attacks and clashes.
 Following the match on 14/11/2009, in which Egypt scored two /nil , the Algerian press published alleged news of serious injuries and fatalities among Algerians being  assaulted by the Egyptian fans.
 Algerians, according to Egypt Radio station blog, attacked Egyptian companies and Egyptians in Algeria. Masses ringed the Egyptian  Telecom Egyptian Orascom Telecom in  Algeria and assaulted 7 Egyptian workers who had burns resulting from throwing Molotov cocktails. The headquarters of Egypt Air  was completely sabotaged.  Egyptians in Algeria ,till now are  in a critical condition. Backlash from the Egyptians against any Algerian interests is expected  if the  tension goes on.
The clashes moved from Egypt and Algeria to Sudan, where the decisive match will take place on 18/11. Algerians  attacked the  Egyptian team bus, and their hotel in Khartoum. contacts at the highest level in both countries are being made  to remove the tension , save the Egyptians working in Algeria and stop the situation from getting out of hand as only both  peoples will pay the price of media agitation.
The blog, “Mobara Online”, criticized the situation, saying: “Why use a football match to blow out the situation of rivalry and conflict between Egypt and Algeria for no reason? This intolerance may leads to uncontrollable consequences. There are more important issues like  Arab unity. Angola and Togo reached the world cup finals yet not achieving much. Playing in the World Cup is important, but more importantly, is  playing with honor and achieving positive results. It is an honor to have an Arabic team in world cup whatever the country representing the Arab world was.
  The blog highlighted the difference between  Arabs,Turks  and Europeans in general. The latter use sports to build, but Arabs use them for ruin.They use sports to bring peoples together and Arabs use sport for  aggravation . The blog asked both peoples to stop swearing and intolerance.

          In his blog , the writer Fahmi Howeidi summarized the   situation: we  are all defeated before the start of the match , fanatics and fools defeated  us those  who raised the sedition, and planted the seeds of hatred and bitterness between the two peoples because of a football competition. we were beaten by  media excitement that has been obsessed in the last  weeks years with aggravation , in complete absence of a minimum of a sense of moral responsibility or even professionalism. Thanks to them , the sports occasion  turned into a war  between brothers. This really filled me with contempt.
It is absurd, to cut  the ties and stepped  on the lofty values and the historical relations and the mutual struggle against occupation.
The emotional  mob, and lost the voice of the wise lead to a wave of revulsion and disgust. I wish  the match was canceled and  football abolished from the  competitions in the Arab world, as long as it has become a provocation rather than being a game leading to hatred and resentment between nations.

     We users of  Katib blogs, have always strongly defended the freedom of all media work and strongly condemn and denounce  prevention, interventions and withholding. We also strongly condemn the methods of agitation from  both parties on newspapers, satellite channels  and fabrication of news as  Algerian  newspapers claimed  deaths among the Algerian fansin Cairo, and  caused troubles to the Egyptian workers in Algeria. The media work is basically ethical and objective truth oriented and not  inclined towards counterfeit and agitation.