It gets worse. The Egyptian-Algerian football rivalry, besides going violent last night, has led to all sorts of weird behavior, including an Algerian hack of the Egyptian Football Association's website showing an Egyptian flag with an Israeli star of David on it. The extremely irreverent Egyptian blogger who calls himself sandmonkey has a list of things that have been happening.
Since he can be pretty profane, for those who might want just the gist, here are his basics (spelling and capitalization unchanged):
There is a football tradition of killing owls in order to jinx your opposing team. It has been relayed to me that an Owl holocaust was started last week and is continuing until this very moment.The match is Saturday, 5:30 PM Cairo time. I hope nobody goes nuclear before then.
- Tamer from the popular TV show el beit beitak went on TV a couple of days ago and informed the egyptian audiences of the Hotel the algerian team will be staying in, and urging the egyptian people to “go there and hang out” until the day of the game.
And then the Algerians started to retaliate:
- Algerian airlines has donated 3000 free tickets to hardcore algerian fans in order not to have their team stand by its lonesome against the cheering might of 80,000 egyptians.
- Algerian hackers hacked the egyptian football association webpage today, and put the Israeli flag on it (??!!!?).
- Algerian municipality workers have stopped the paperwork for an algerian girl getting married to an egyptian guy, telling her that she can come back for it after saturday’s game.
And then there is what happened today:
- Egyptians dying for a ticket to the Game attacked all ticket selling centers in droves today. The Elite Heliopolis Sporting club managed to secure a couple of thosunad tickets to sell to its members, only to have word of this reaching the egyptian population and having hundreds of egyptians storm into the private club to get their hands on tickets. 40 police cars were called to secure the facility. And there there is this picture of another ticket box office: [his link is broken here].
- The Bus carrying the Algerian team got attacked today, with egyptian fans reportedly attacking it by throwing rocks at them. And then this is where the story gets hazy: The Algerians claim that the rock throwing reached such a degree, that the windows chatters and 4 of their players got injured. The egyptian officials deny that any algerian players got injured, and some are even claiming that the algerians are making the entire thing up, with them breaking the glass of the bus themselves to set the egyptians up. There are videos here and here. You make up your own mind.
Almost two weeks ago, when I noted Algerian Revolution Day, a commenter on that post insisted that of the Arab countries I mentioned as supportive of the war of independence, Nasser's Egypt did the least. At the time I assumed it was just a historical quibble. Now I'm wondering if it was about football.
Final thought: since they have no common border, if they go to war will they fight the battles in Libya? Brother Colonel Leader has a lot of great military uniforms.