Euros trump Copa among young Arab football fans
Euro 2016 and Copa Centenario dominating the sports pages’ headlines
Football is the flavour of the sporting world over June and July with two continental showpieces: Euro 2016 and Copa Centenario dominating the sports pages’ headlines since.
It’s been then a hectic time for the football-loving Arab youth as they keep shuttling between the two events on TV in the month of Ramadan. Quizzed by Gulf News as to which is their favourite tournament, a cross section of students showed their vote was tilted towards the Euro though at least a few of them sought to balance out their answers.
Hala Tahhan, 23, said that she follows Euro more as it has more glamour and is more interesting. “If you see cafes around the UAE during the game time, they’re all full,” she added.
However, Tahhan said that people may be willing to stay and watch a Copa America game when they’re done watching the Euro game as it takes them time to “cool off” post the game for them to leave a cafe.
Qamar Al Khatib, a Syrian, had a similar view to Tahhan as she follows Euro more than Copa America, although for entirely different reasons. “The Euro goes on for a longer period and is more exciting to watch,” she said.
Iranian Kian Hoodeh also prefers watching Euro games over Copa America. “Copa America is dominated by two teams only: Brazil and Argentina, while the Euro is a lot more competitive,” he said.
Hoodeh, however, said that “Ramadan makes it easy for football fans to watch the 5am Copa games as they are in line with suhour timing.”
Ahmad Al Kallawy, however, had a rather analytical response as to why he followed the Euro over Copa America. He said that the European leagues, competitions and international teams have higher Fifa rankings when compared to the American continent teams. “Copa America is much shorter and finishes really fast unlike the Euro,” he added.
Asma Al Abed and Hassan Al Kallawy sought to rate the Copa America over the Euros.
Al Abed said that there is a diversity in style within the Copa America teams that shows in their play. “It’s like comparing Champions league to the Barclays Premier League,” she added.
As for Hassan, he said that the Copa America competition is already nearing the knockout stage, making it of more value to watch than Euros with several teams still involved in group stage matches.
By Abdelrahman Elkallawy