Egyptians in shock over AFCON title loss

Egyptians in shock over AFCON title loss
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Published February 6th, 2017 - 15:51 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Egyptian fans react as they watch on a screen the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Egypt and Cameroon on February 5, 2017, in the capital Cairo, during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final in Gabon.
KHALED DESOUKI / AFP
Egyptian fans react as they watch on a screen the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Egypt and Cameroon on February 5, 2017, in the capital Cairo, during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final in Gabon. KHALED DESOUKI / AFP

Egyptians were shocked late Sunday by the national team's failure to claim what would have been a record eighth title at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

Home fans had packed coffee shops and sports clubs all evening to watch the Pharaohs' match against Cameroon in the Afcon final in Gabon.

A goal in the 22nd minute by Egypt's Mohamed Elneny boosted supporters' hopes that the continental tournament's crown was in sight.

Egyptians' hopes were dashed, however, after Cameroon recovered and beat the Pharaohs 2-1.

Hosts on several Egyptian television channels looked grim as they reported on the Pharaohs' loss. Footage meanwhile showed fans stunned, as others wept in silence.

The online edition of private newspaper al-Masry al-Youm said that some angry supporters had smashed seats in coffee shops in the Cairo suburb of October 6.

President Abdel-Fatah al-Sissi called the players' performance "honourable."

"Despite the result of the game, the national team has won the esteem of the whole Egyptian people and the respect of football watchers all over the world," al-Sissi said in a statement, according to official television.

Egypt are the most successful team in Afcon history, having won the tournament a record seven times.

After a third consecutive title win in 2010, the Pharaohs missed the ensuing three tournaments. Egyptian football suffered a setback due to the unrest that followed the 2011 revolution.

© 2016 dpa GmbH

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