Dr. Augustine A. Kamara, Virginia
As a soccer enthusiast and one time a footballer, I am compelled to write on recent events of disaster of soccer violence in Port Said of Egypt.Egypt, known as ancient civilization, has a very good profile soccer history. It is not only the first nation to represent Africa for the world cup, but has won the African nation’s cup currently in progress in co-host Gabon and Equatorial Guinea for a record seven times.
Like many, I have a great admiration forEgypt’s standard of soccer; fortunately I had the opportunity to play against an Egyptian side in 1974 for the First African Sports University (FASU) games in Ghana. Sierra Leone’s captain in that competition who is now Sierra Leone’s ambassador at the African Union H.E. Ambassador Andrew Bangalie would agree with me that Egypt is an advanced nation in soccer. We had a memorable loss to the Egyptian side at the EL-WAK stadium in Accra memorable because we put up a brilliant performance against superstars like Capt. Mahmoud El Khatib former African player of the year and national captain of Egypt, Capt. Hassan Shehata former national coach of Egypt, Capt. Ekrami former national goalie of Egypt and, Capt Farouk Gaffar former Coach of Zamalek club.
Egypt’s soccer fans are known to be very loyal and supportive but of little or no violence. A notorious violence was observed in the 1980′s against an Algerian side which lasted for some years between the two North African nations. What really sparked the recent domestic violence is baffling and needs to be addressed? Egypt’s security is known to be a tough one in supervising local as well as international matches having hosted a number of international games and sports successfully in the past. Whilst soccer violence is not only limited toEgypt, it has been reported world-wide. Some form of violence has been recorded between fans watching television supporting opposite sides, interestingly sometimes having no bearing to national interest.
A study in Europe in the 70′s postulated that reasons for soccer violence may stem from youths of alcoholism and bachelors who look up to the sport as a main social event. Whatever the cause that led to the violence that reportedly left dozens dead inPort Said andCairo is a room for concern and should be addressed. This should serve as an opener for local league and international competitions for step up of security in all future matches to avoid such unfortunate situation.