Who would have believed that a football match could cause such tension between two nations? But the truth is, the tension between Egypt and Algeria has reached an unexpected level. Many bloggers believe that the match has nothing to do with the trouble on the streets now and like me, many are really shocked that some of the well known media outlets, have misunderstood the whole affair – they still believe that supporters of the national teams of each country are demonstrating and fighting each other because of the result of a match. Here's a breakdown of how the situation escalated – in the words of bloggers.
After the match that took place in Egypt, Algerian newspapers reported that Algerians had been killed (which has been denied later on by the Algerian ambassador in Cairo). Those rumors caused several Egyptian sites in Algeria to be attacked; Egypt Air's office was damaged. More than 1,500 Egyptian workers were also reportedly attacked and taken as hostages in riots; also, the Egyptian Embassy had to be surrounded by Algerian security forces for protection.
Ihab Omar wrote in his blog El Journaljy about those rumors:
Later on, the Algerian ambassador denied that any Algerian was killed in Egypt. But as Inferad wrote in his blog, it seems that rumors and the waves of violence after them were unstoppable.
يأتي ذلك في الوقت الذي أكدت فيه الخارجية المصرية تعرض العاملين في عدة شركات مصرية بالجزائر لإصابات واعتداءات جماهير جزائرية تقدر بالآلاف، جراء الإشاعات التي روجت لها الصحف الجزائرية لها عقب المباراة
After that, the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs announced that many Egyptians who work in Algeria were attacked by thousands of Algerians who were driven by those rumors, which were spread by the Algerian newspapers.
During, and after the match in Cairo, the tone of the Egyptian blogosphere was still calm. Bloggers like Nile Wise wrote, how it's just a football match, and people should not over react:
And blogs, like Inferad, believed that it was just the media in the two countries that has to be blamed. He asked people in the two countries not to believe everything they read and hear:
Meanwhile, other bloggers like Al Journaljy, admitted that there may be some violence acts that took place in each country against the fans of the other:
He then continued:
He also admitted that the Egyptian fans weren't any better than their Algerian counterparts, and that they almost did the same deeds before the match that took place in Cario.
And that's what prompted Daily Barid write the following:
In fact all the above incidents can be considered as an introduction to what happened in Sudan last Wednesday. The Egyptian and the Algerian football teams were to play there one final match in order to decide the team that will qualify for the World Cup that will be held in South Africa next year.
Some bloggers were expecting violence acts against the Egyptian fans in Sudan. And that's why Lokmet Eish called for security forces to protect the Egyptian players and fans there:
مطلوب حماية أمنية خاصة للفريق القومى المصرى،وللجماهير المصرية المرافقة
And the Sudanese did their best to secure the match with about 15,000 soldiers. But it turned out that even such a huge number of security forces was not enough. Zeinobia wrote about what happened in Khartoum in her blog:
Thousands of Egyptians have spent their night in fear hiding either in hotels or in restaurants or in Egyptian companies HQ in Khartoum or even in the houses of Sudanese for fear they would be killed on the hands of the Algerian thugs brought by military Algerian planes.
According to testimonies these Algerians in the Sudanese stadium were not the regular Algerian fans we used to see , they did not even sing their famous “1,2,3 Algerie”. They were professional thugs who emptied the markets of Um Darman from knives ,Swiss knives and swords for complete three days. Of course we have been warned but we did not think it would reach like this especially we have lost. Already for the record many Egyptians did not go for fear of something similar would happen.
The Algerian thugs chased our fans buses and cars with stones and bottles , several Egyptians have been injured for real. The Khartoum airport seems to be I do not know what kind of word to use , may be poor despite the economy there is booming ,really booming.
The whole night the country listened to terrifying calls from Sudan coming from celebs , journalists, MPs and regular fans who trapped in the streets of Khartoum for hours and did not know where to go.
She also wrote about the Egyptian fan who lost her eye due to this incident, and compared it to what happened 20 years ago when an Algerian football player caused another Egyptian fan to loose his eye too:
Also Bani Adam Maa Waqf El Tanfeez wrote here about what happened in Sudan. He also wrote about the videos published online that warned the Egyptians from going there, and those showing Algerian fans with knives in their hands:
لا أعرف كيف لم أصدق كلامهم .. فقد شاهدت بعيني فيديو أسمه ( تحذير لكل مصري ) يقول فيه كل ما سوف يحدث و أنهم سوف يرسلون بلطجيه و لصوص و مسجلين خطر للانتقام من المصريين
بعد فهمي للموضوع أري أن الحكومة الجزائرية و سفيرها في مصر مشارك في المجزرة التي حدثت
I don't know how I didn't believe what they said. I saw one of their videos [on YouTube] called “Warning for every Egyptian”, where it stated everything that was going to happen and that they were planning to send armed criminals to take revenge on Egyptians.
Now I see that the Algerian government and its ambassador participated in the massacre.
He then continued:
فمن في الوطن العربي كله ؟ لا يسمع محمد فؤاد ؟؟ من في الوطن العربي كله لا يحترم الفنانة فردوس عبد الحميد . من الوطن العربي كله لم يضحك على كوميديا الفنان احمد بدير ؟؟ و غيرهم و غيرهم
أنهم رموز مصر و رموز الوطن العربي كله
بينما أرسلت الجزائر أبنائها من قاطعين الطرق و مسجلين الخطر و غيرهم و نقلتهم على قواتها الحربية ؟؟ كما أكدت وسائل الإعلام أمس أن الجزائر كانت تستخدم الطائرات الحربية ؟؟؟
أذن الجزائر تكره مصر ؟؟
الجزائر تكره مصر …. الجزائر أعلنت الحرب و نحن كنا نقول وردة لكل جزائري
هل رأيتم شعب يتصرف بساذجة مثلا !! بالطبع لا
Who in the Arab world doesn't listen to Muhammad Fouad [an Egyptian singer], or doesn't respect Fardous Abdel Hameed [an Egyptian actress], or didn't laugh at Ahmed Bedeir's comics. And many many others.
They are pan-Arab idols.
While Algeria on the other hand has sent its warlords and criminals who were transported by military jets.
So, it's clear that Algeria hates Egypt. Yes, Algeria hates Egypt, and had declared war on us, while we kept on saying a rose for each Algerian.
Have you ever seen idiots like us before? Sure, no.
And now it's official, the media, people in the streets, and the Egyptian government are all mad over what happened in Sudan.
Zeinobia wrote here about the reactions of Egyptian officials:
The Algerian Ambassador is no where to be found in Egypt , I think he is starting to pack his stuff.
The security of the Algerian Embassy in Brazil St. in Zamalak is competing the security measures of The U.S , Israel and Denmark Embassies.
There have been calls to attack the Embassy since early morning in the facebook beside calls to
The Egyptian football association has issued an official statement rejecting and condemning the attack on our fans , it is expected that we will report to the FIFA
The EFA has withdrew from the North Africa football association
An Egyptian cinema production company “ The Arabic company for cinematic production and distribution” has announced that it is going to boycott Algerian festivals.