Bidding farewell to the World Cup after disappointing performance by national team, Egyptian soccer fans have decided to ease their pain by turning the tournament’s iconic trophy into a hookah.
With the national team finishing group bottom after failing to snatch a single point in Russia, it added insult to injury for many soccer fans in the Arab world’s most populous country, who shifted their attention to support other teams in soccer’s best stage.
Watching Brazil vs Mexico game in the northern city of Alexandria on Monday July 2, Belal Mahmoud retains his sense of humour, saying if the national team will not bring back the trophy, he will.
We were not able to win the real World Cup so we just got it as a shisha (hookah), Ramadan lantern and whichever way we can.
“We were not able to win the real World Cup so we just got it as a shisha (hookah), Ramadan lantern and whichever way we can,” he said.
The original trophy stands 36.8-centimetre high and is made out of 18-carat gold. It has represented the highest ambition for professional footballers since it replaced the Jules Rimet Trophy in 1974.
The trophy-shaped hookah is made of gold-coloured plaster and can accommodate heat.
So far the hookah has been a big hit in cafes around Egypt, according to Syrian shop owner, Yahia Ghalyoun. Demand for the trophy-shaped one has fallen after the national team’s exit, pushing him to export it to other countries.
Libyan importer Hossam Farahat came all the way to Cairo to buy the trophy-shaped hookah, says that Libyans too wish to get into the World Cup mood.
“The Libyan people wants to forget about the current atmosphere and just get into the football and World Cup mood. The entire Arab world loves shisha (hookah),” he said.
Egypt clinched a long-awaited spot in Russia for the 2018 World Cup finals, the first since the country’s last participation in 1990 in Italy.