• 00:31
  • Thursday ,24 May 2012

Copts and soccer

Safwat Freeze Ghali

Article Of The Day


Wednesday ,23 May 2012

Copts and soccer

In Egypt, there is a problem that many people don't even consider, however I believe is the reason behind the sectarian problems in Egypt. this problem relates to not allowing the Copts to play in the national teams of sports, especially soccer which is the most popular game in Egypt.

Marginalization of young Copts by the Football Association and the administrations of Egyptian clubs resulted in having no Coptic players in the core teams. 
Youth teams have very few Copts and they are laid off as soon as they reach certain age and never take the chance to promote. 
This cause the Muslim young people to practice the discrimination based on religion, instead of learning mutual love and understanding. They learn that Copts are the second class citizens. On the other hand Copts will be angry and may hate everybody.
When I mention this problem, I hear: Hany Ramzy was playing in Al Ahly club (the biggest soccer club in Egypt) as well as the national team. Yes, Hany was the only Christian player in the last 30 years, but if he hadn't joined the soccer team of Swiss club Neuchâtel Xamax, he would have been neglected and  laid off.
I suffered from this problem with my son who was born in 1995 and has a great talents in soccer. Many people have said so after they saw him playing.
My son then started in a small club, but never took a chance to play. His coach treats him so badly and his colleagues make fun of his Christian name. His coach told him: I won't let you touch the ball (play in the team) and never ask me why!
We got fed up and I took him to a bigger club and they liked him very much and promised to recruit him but they never did. Then, I moved him to another club where they liked him too, but when the coach knew his name (a Christian name), he said: We'll see, later!
When His Holiness Pope Shenouda III departed, all officials and celebrities offered their condolences and, save soccer players who are celebrities in our community.
I hope everyone to take this problem into consideration as Egypt is not only for certain current or party. It's our country that we cherish, as the late Pope Shenouda used to say.