The Fans View – Today Zamalek

In African Club Football circles, we usually hear about Al Ahly SC of Egypt. In the second fan interview, This Is Football.Africa tackled a supporter of cross town rivals Zamalek SC, another powerhouse in the African, Arab and global football world.

Umar Mathir: Assalamu Alaikum ya Eslam (Peace be upon you O Eslam), Congratulations, Zamalek are Egyptian league champions, how does it feel?”

Eslam Sobhy Nagy: “First, Thank you very much, I appreciate that. Yup, we will do it again Insha’ALLAH (God willing).”

UM: One of the questions we always ask our fellow fans across the continent, in terms of the fans experience at their games. How safe are supporters at stadiums in Egypt, especially at big games, and what improvements can be made?

ESN: Things are better now than before, after two previous unfortunate incidents, although the stadium doesn’t get filled to capacity. For big matches, specialised equipment is used and we have very professional developments with access facilities and identification cards for fans.

UM: Your opinion on Video Assistant Referee (V.A.R) ?

ESN: Briefly, justice for sure! It brings justice. You can ask Al Ahly fans too (laughing).

UM: (Also laughing) I will. Eslam, currently we have experienced smaller crowds in S.A at most games, increasing only when the bigger sides face each other or play cup games. Is Zamalek getting high numbers for matches?

ESN: Currently our government is setting certain numbers to limit attendances. Of course, our matches being within the country, there is so much crowding, meaning we can fill the stadium for every match.

UM: Why is the Egyptian government limiting numbers, is this linked to incidents from 2015, when Zamalek supporters were killed in a match against ENPPI?

ESN: Yup, COVID 19 events also.

Zamalek supporters

UM: Big question….What do you think of the CAF Super League, would you like to see Zamalek participating?

ESN: Why not? Good chance for us, but our goal this season is the CAF Champions League.

UM: So you think that a Super League is good for African football? Doesn’t the CAFSL undermine the existing CAFCL?

ESN: I think it (CAFSL) deserves a chance, there are benefits for poorer clubs.

UM: Eslam, which ‘poorer’ clubs will benefit? Which ‘poor’ club will CAF accept for the CAFSL?

ESN: Most clubs in Africa aren’t rich.

UM: How will they benefit from this African Super League?

ESN: I’ve heard about the big prize money, it will be good for them.

UM: Considering Zamalek, Al Ahly, Horoya, Espérance de Tunis, TP Mazembe, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns are all possibly clubs invited to join, who already have money, huge fan bases plus large social media following, I wonder how exactly the poor clubs will benefit?

ESN: I’m talking about only one aspect, the financial one, there are other aspects such as competition. Most rich clubs want more money as returns from CAF Interclubs competitions aren’t great, while clubs incur huge expenses participating in them.

UM: Before we let you go, any message to your fellow White Knights supporters?

ESN: Enjoy [foot]ball to the fullest, I suggest they also watch handball, basketball and volleyball games involving Zamalek.

UM: Shukran (Thanks) Eslam for your time.

ESN: You’re most welcome bro.

Read more here:

Al Ahly And Their South Africa Jinx

African Super League – Too Much Money to Resist

Al Ahly no longer keen to sell Percy Tau

Zamalek SC