SUDAN WATCH: Algeria qualifies for 2010 World Cup Competition after beating Egypt 1-0 in Khartoum - Egypt sending troops to evacuate football fans in Sudan

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Algeria qualifies for 2010 World Cup Competition after beating Egypt 1-0 in Khartoum - Egypt sending troops to evacuate football fans in Sudan

Unfortunately, this week, all news reports at the website of Sudan Radio Service (SRS) have disappeared due to technical issues. Here is a report, received by email from SRS, dated Thursday, November 19, 2009:
Finally, we bring you this item from the SRS sporting supremo, Francis I. Butili:

19 November 2009 - (Khartoum) - Algeria’s national football team has qualified for the 2010 World Cup competition in South Africa after beating the Egyptian team one-nil in Khartoum.

It is a victory for the Algerians who have been absent from the World Cup for over twenty-four years. Khartoum roared with wild celebrations amidst tight security that was deployed to thwart off violence as tension rapidly built up in the hours preceding the kick-off on Wednesday.

A sports analyst with Al-Ayaam daily newspaper, Badr El-Din El-Basha, said stakes were high for both sides and the two coaches had planned well for their teams to play but the Algerians’ calm on the pitch helped them control the play-off and spiral them to victory.

[Badr El-Din]: “I think Rabah Sadaane, (the Algerian coach) played a clever game. He planned a high level of tactics and was in control. The Algerians were not frightened; they were so calm in contrast to the Egyptian team. You could see in the beginning of the match that the Egyptians were demoralized.”

The winning goal was volleyed in by Algeria's centre-back Aantar Yahya in the thirty-ninth minute of the first half. In response, the Egyptian Pharaohs skewed in several threatening balls before half-time but the brilliant defense of Algeria’s Desert Foxes kept them at bay.

The same defensive power was displayed in the second half and the Foxs’ goalie Fauzi Shawshi saved two or three dangerous shots from the Egyptian strikers. As the minutes drew to the final whistle most Egyptian sports TV channels switched off their live broadcast of the game in despair.

On Thursday morning some channels report that some Egyptian fans were injured on their way to Khartoum airport to board flights for home.

This FIFA-organized match has brought to the fore the need for more sports infrastructure development to be able to host international tournaments in the country. About one-hundred and twenty flights descended and ascended in Khartoum International airport in the span of twelve hours and over fifteen thousand police and security forces were deployed in full riot gear inside and outside the stadium and throughout Khartoum.

Sudan’s poorly-trained football team was knocked out of the World Cup and the African Cup of Nations without scoring any points at all.
End of email report from
Charles Haskins
News Programming Advisor
Sudan Radio Service (SRS)
A project of Education Development Center
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www.sudanradio.org
- - -

Here is a copy of a report from Sudan Tribune, Thursday 19 November 2009:
Egypt dispatching troops to evacuate soccer fans in Sudan: official
Football:  Algeria beat Egypt 1-0 in Khartoum

November 18, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – The Egyptian government is dispatching special forces to Sudan to evacuate its soccer fans claiming to be targeted by Algerians in the capital, the Egyptian ambassador to Sudan said today.

“The Egyptian soccer fans were subjects to assaults from the Algerian fans in Al-Jomhoriya street,” Afifi Abdel-Wahab told the Youth and Sports radio.

The Egyptian envoy said that he is constant contact with the authorities in Sudan while waiting for Special Forces to arrive.

Abdel-Wahab revealed that the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak phoned the Sudanese presidency calling on them “to control the escalating situation”.

Earlier today, the Egyptian information minister Anas Al-Fiqi threatened the move if Sudanese authorities to protect its citizens.

Algeria beat Egypt 1-0 getting the last ticket to the 2010 soccer world cup held in South Africa.

The match was a special situation after Egypt and Algeria equalized in terms of points and goals requiring a decisive match on neutral ground per FIFA rules.

Historically, the soccer matches between the two countries are unique in the animosity surrounding it though analysts have disagreed on the reasons behind it.

In 1989, the Algerian soccer player Lakhdar Belloumi was accused of seriously injuring an Egyptian physician in the eye after throwing a broken bottle in his face.

The incident followed another crucial World Cup qualifying match between the two teams. Belloumi managed to get out on bail and was rushed back home where he has been unable to leave owing to an arrest warrant issued by Interpol which was rescinded only this year.

The Egyptian media today has reported widespread attacks on its soccer fans in Sudan by Algerian fans and Sudanese police alike.

However, the spokesperson of the Sudanese police speaking by phone at the ‘Cairo Today’ show Brigadier Mohamed Abdel Magid denied the reports.

Amr Adeeb, host of the popular show, interrupted Abdel Magid telling him “Sudanese police should not extend its hands on an Egyptian citizen”.

Mamdooh Ali, the Egyptian medical consultant at the embassy in Khartoum told Adeeb that he has seen few cases of minor injuries among the Egyptians suggesting that the reports were exaggerated.

But a number of Egyptian fans and artists calling from Khartoum said they are besiged trying to hide pleading over the phone for help.

Events in Sudan threaten to evolve into a diplomatic row with Egypt after officials in Cairo accused authorities of failing to protect its citizens.

On Tuesday the Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir met with both delegations’ management in a bid to defuse tensions.

But at the Sudanese presidential palace the head of Algeria’s football association publicly rejected a peaceful overture from his Egyptian counterpart, walking away from Samir Zahir who proposed to kiss him to put the troubles behind them.

Egyptian and Algerian fans flowed into Sudan with special charter flights to airlift them for the match.

The attendees included officials, ministers, actors and singers from both sides of the aisle including the personal representative of the Algerian president Abdul-Aziz Bouteflika, his brother and the two sons of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Westerners and U.N. staff were urged to stay well away from the stadium as 15,000 extra police kept tight control over 35,000 supporters in Khartoum’s Al Merreikh stadium.

Heavily armed security forces fired tear gas to chase away thousands of Sudanese fans waiting outside, witnesses told Reuters.

The vast majority of Sudanese appeared to rally behind Algerians, a journalistic source in Khartoum told Sudan Tribune adding that authorities informed newspapers that they will be subject to confiscation if they publish pro-Algerian articles.

“Those Egyptians are so arrogant,” Mohamed Naim Suleman, a student from Darfur told New York Times. (ST)
Check out the 38+ comments at original article from Sudan Tribune.  Also, the following update published here on Friday 07:43 AM GMT UK November 20, 2009.

Sudan drawn into AlgeriaEgypt soccer spat

Primedia Broadcasting - Eyewitness News - Jean-Jacques Cornish - ‎15 minutes ago‎
Egypt and Algeria had to play each other in an eliminator match because they were level on points and goal difference after in their qualifying group.

At World Cup Qualifiers, Praise for the Little Guys

New York Times - Rob Hughes - ‎18 hours ago‎
The ramifications came later when more violent exchanges between fans and more sharp diplomatic exchanges were reported between Egypt and Algeria...

32 injured after Egypt-Algeria match

Independent Online - ‎Nov 15, 2009‎
Thirty-two people, including 20 Algerians, were injured in clashes in and around Cairo after a crunch World Cup football qualifier between Egypt and Algeria ...

EgyptAlgeria feud escalates

News24 - ‎Nov 17, 2009‎
"It might be a good idea to postpone the match," Sawiris said on Tuesday, referring to Wednesday's World Cup qualifier between Egypt and Algeria in Sudan. ...

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