Egypt may not have qualified for the FIFA World Cup this time round, but football fans across the country are extremely proud that the competition is being held for the first time ever in an Arab nation.
‘This World Cup is a big deal to all of us Arabs. It's an honour for the entire region to host the tournament. We all want to see exceptional organization and a respectable presentation of what we can do,’ says Badr Medany, a football services provider.
As many cannot afford cable television at home, huge crowds have been gathering to watch the games on big screens set up in designated public spaces in Cairo and elsewhere across the country.
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Diehard football fan, Marwan El Nahas, says the game has been his hobby for years and he has never missed a tournament. But this one is different.
‘It’s in Qatar, so it gives me a different feeling and it makes me sad that Egypt didn't qualify. This is a competition I would have loved to see my country take part in,’ he says.
In 1934, Egypt became the first Arab and African teams to play in the World Cup. And while Egyptians may be divided about who their favourite is to win this time round, they are united in their pride that the tournament is taking place in the Middle East.