Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ahly, Zamalek, Boredom

A faintly familiar game played in Gouna
Unsatisfied with domineering political life, centralizing the economy and  straight jacketing religious and social norms, the vampires have sunk their teeth deeper into one of the last bastions of free expression in Egypt, the rivalry between Zamalek and Ahly. The African Champions League match-up between the two (no local competition face offs being any longer possible, thanks to the idiotic decision to cancel the league and cup) was played in circumstances that can be charitably described as intentionally horrendous. Unpaid players who have not faced a competitive match in months were commandeered to run around in broiling temperatures at a wind swept field on the Red Sea in the middle of the fasting month of Ramadan. 

The game itself was a predictably terrible stalemate, lacking in every facet. The only people leaving happy were the authorities congratulating themselves for the wondrous achievement of staging a football match for ninety minutes, complete with twenty-two players in neat uniforms and even some fans with waving flags who braved the uncertainty of whether they would be allowed to attend.

Another victory for dulling unity, another loss for Egypt. 

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