World Cup Qualifying Pot-luck: Pot 1 teams should fear Egypt most
The World Cup Qualifying Pot-Luck: Should Egypt be worried about the play-off draw that will take place next Monday? Will Egypt fear if drawn against Algeria or Should Egypt be hoping to avoid the likes of Ghana and Ivory Coast?
Pot 1: Algeria, Cape Verde, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria
Pot 2: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia and Senegal
As Egypt no longer stands a chance of reaching Pot 1 in Africa’s final stage of World Cup qualifying and are now set to face one of the Pot 1 teams, we ought to ask ourselves: Why is the Egyptian media and most Egyptians (including myself) so concerned on the outcome of the September 16th draw? Be it which team will be selected or which team we hope to avoid.
Yes, Egyptians have been waiting to see the national team reach the World Cup – it’s been 23 years since Egypt took part in such prestigious tournament in Italia’90. It is no secret to anyone who is remotely familiar with Egypt that football is the opium of the Egyptian people – it’s what Egyptians turn to when things go sour elsewhere in their lives and indeed the situation in the country has been dire and the people of Egypt are looking for something to look forward to with a smile.
Record holders of 7 African nations titles, Egypt is the only country in the world with a 100% record in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign. The halt on Egypt’s domestic league repositioned all focus on the national team. Bob Bradley has one mission on his mind since the day he accepted the complex role to be Egypt’s coach and it is as he continuously reiterates: “Kas El-Alam, Kas El-Alam.” Zaki Abdel-Fatah, Egypt’s GK coach told reporters recently that the Egyptian team is ready to play any of the teams in Pot 1. “We have ambitions to qualify to the World Cup and we won’t give that up,” he said.
Five African nations will make it to Brazil 2014. A play-off round separates the winners from the losers, a home-and-away fixture to be played in October and November. Will the Ivory Coast, Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria or Cape Verde be looking forward to playing against the Pharaohs? It would be of ill-fate to get drawn with the North African giants. Undoubtedly, Egypt is the team to avoid in Pot 2 and teams in Pot 1 should worry the most.
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