Egypt National Football Team
FIFA Ranking: 49
Egyptian Football Association (EFA)
Cairo International Stadium, Cairo
Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria
Abdallah El Said
Hossam El Badry
Most Capped Player:-
Ahmed Hassan (184 caps)
Hossam Hassan (68 goals)
Mohamed Salah, Ahmed Elmohamady, Ahmed Hegazi, Mohamed Elneny, Trézéguet
Al-Firaeina (The Pharaohs)
Best Result: Round of 16 (1934)
Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON):-
Best Result: 7 x Champions (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010)
Best Result: Group Stage (1999, 2009)
The Egypt national football team represents its nation in the official international football competitions under CAF and FIFA. The Egyptian FA joined FIFA in 1923 and is a founding member of CAF. Egypt is based in North Africa and their arch-rivals are Algeria. The North African rivalry has turned ugly several times in the past so there is no love lost between these sides.
The nation comes under CAF’s Zone 1 (North Zone) that is organized by the Union of North African Football Federations (UNAF). The UNAF was launched in 2005.
Egypt is the most successful African nation with 7 AFCON titles to its name including 3 consecutive from 2006-2010 and the inaugural tournament back in 1957. However, this has not translated on the world’s biggest stage at the FIFA World Cup.
The Egyptians have only managed to qualify for 3 World Cups and have failed to win a single game in the competition so far. They made their debut in 1934 and it took 56 years to qualify for the competition for a second time! There was another long hiatus as they finally qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup that was held in Russia.
Egypt achieved a FIFA ranking of 9th at one point, making them only 1 of 3 African nations to have been ranked in the world’s top 10 at a point in time. Nigeria and Morocco are the other 2 countries to have achieved this feat.
The Pharaohs also hold the unexpected record of the oldest player to have featured at the FIFA World Cup in their former goalkeeper, Essam El Hadary who played in the 2018 World Cup aged 45 years.
The Egyptian football team was constituted in 1920 and it became the first African football team to compete in the Olympics.
Football in Egypt
Football is the most popular sport to watch in Egypt, followed by squash.
Al-Ahly and Zamalek SC are the two local clubs that have achieved loads of success at the FIFA Club World Cup and CAF Champions League that has given them global recognition and an international following.
The Egyptian football league pyramid is where all divisions are bound together by a promotion and relegation system. Egypt follows a 4-level system with the Egyptian Premier League at the top level. This is the only professional league in the country for football and is the only single division tier of football. It features 18 teams where the top 2 qualify for the CAF Champions League and the bottom 3 teams get relegated to the 2nd division.
In the second tier is the Egyptian Second Division that has 3 divisions split basis geographic location. The winner of each division gets promoted to the first tier of Egyptian football to replace the teams that finished at the bottom in the previous season.
The third division – Egyptian Third Division is the second-highest semi-professional league in Egypt. The number of teams and groups change every season due to various reasons. This is followed by the 4th and lowest division of football in Egypt that is at an amateur level where, just like the third division, the league structure and teams undergo a change – the Egyptian Fourth Division.
Egypt has some big stars and none bigger than Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. Salah has been performing for his country and producing results for his national team as well. He is the king and is loved for his humanity and good nature off the pitch as well.
People did not expect Egypt to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup but they made it through. Unfortunately for them, they lost Mo Salah in the first game of the group stages itself and lost their key man in front of goal.
They ended up winless in their group to bring an end to a disappointing showing in Russia.
Egypt last won the AFCON back in 2010 and Salah will be determined to bring back some glory to his nation. Egypt has a pool of talented players and a lot of them coming from Al Ahly – the most successful team in African club football.
This has helped the national team build chemistry and it will be interesting to see how things move forward with the North African giants.
Betting in Egypt
Watching, following, and reading about sports is a major source of recreation in Egypt.
Gambling in Egypt is legal for tourists only. Due to Egypt gambling laws, residents are prohibited from gambling with the exception of the lottery which includes sports betting.
There are no bookies or betting shops located in Cairo, Sharm el-Sheikh, Alexandria, Taba, or any of the other cities. Bookmaking is a crime nationwide that is punishable by both – detention and fines. There are no laws, however, that prohibits anyone from placing a bet. It is only illegal for bookies to accept these bets.
There are close to thirty licensed casinos operating throughout Egypt and tourists are required to show their passports before entering casinos. The reason the government has allowed this is given the amount of money the country is able to earn through taxes.
One avenue that remains open to Egyptians is internet betting since online gambling in Egypt is not regulated. No internet gambling companies legally exist in the country but many international betting companies do accept bets from Egyptian residents. Residents are currently NOT prohibited from playing on the many foreign-operated online gambling sites.