Alaa Abdel-Ghani

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Latest by Alaa Abdel-Ghani


Sports Talk: Not a second to lose

In the same week that a blatant handball helped Esperance of Tunisia knock Egypt’s Ahly out of the African Champions League, the inventor of Hawk-Eye has claimed he has goal-line technology that can make a goal-scoring decision within half a second. That’s half a second less than what the International Football Board (IFAB) had initially …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk/ Quality time

Most of us watch a lot of sports but how much do we really get out of them? During a match of any kind, there are times during which players are actually playing and other periods when they are doing nothing at all. So exactly how much genuine action is there in an average sports …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk/ As Good As Carlos

There’s no particular reason why a sports story should be included in the New Journal of Physics. Just browse the titles of papers presented in September’s issue: -Electronic and geometric corrugation of periodically rippled, self-nanostructured grapheme epitaxially grown on Rui(0001); – Total and positronium formation cross sections for positron scattering from H2O and HCOOH; -Interplay …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: Possibly Qatar

From one World Cup we jump to another. Not long after South Africa 2010 ended do we now wait to see who will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Brazil has taken the 2014 extravaganza but it’s anybody’s guess who will be the two lucky ones thereafter when the announcements are made on Dec. …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: To the highest bidder

They look like African runners. They run like African runners and they win medals like African runners. Except that Mo Farah, Myriam Soumare and Elvan Abeylegesse are not really African. Along with around a dozen other athletes at the recently concluded 2010 European Athletics Championships in Barcelona, they represented people the majority of whom they …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Upshots of the World Cup

There is an aftermath after every World Cup. Sometimes the after effects come soon, sometimes later. Sometimes they are expected and sometimes they come from the blue. Sometimes the repercussions are positive, sometimes minus. Whatever the case, there are consequences. It would have been expected that Marcello Lippi would have to exit from South Africa …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: Keep out

What is so bad about French President Nicolas Sarkozy wanting to know what happened to his team in South Africa? FIFA views Sarkozy as going too far. But this is about FIFA taking the rules too far. Sarkozy is not so much interested in why France, the 1998 World Cup champions and the losing finalist …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

World Cup inaction

  It’s much too early to start comparing the 2010 World Cup with World Cups of the past. Where South Africa 2010 will ultimately rest among the pantheon of WCs would have to wait to the end.   But we have now had a chance see all 32 teams play at least once. With an …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Half-baked World Cup predictions

We’ll know who wins the World Cup on July 11. But that would have been too late. The world wants to know now. We shall try to answer the million-dollar question being asked by millions. Like in any World Cup, it’s always a good idea to start by a process of elimination. It’s much easier …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Egypt got it, Algeria did not

It was not surprising that FIFA punished Egypt after fans attacked Algeria’s football team bus. That at least two Algerian players sustained head injuries from rock throwers in November’s World Cup qualifying incident here in Cairo was enough to earn for Egypt an $88,000 fine and an order that Egypt must stage its first two …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

The other World Cup

If you can’t go to the World Cup, why not stage it? Exactly what the Gaza Strip is doing, having kicked off its own mini version of the tournament. Some 16 Gaza-based Palestinian soccer clubs are competing, most named after international football powerhouses like Brazil, Spain and France, in addition to teams representing Egypt, Palestine, …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: Occupation football

From the first day of its announcement, the friendly soccer match between the Egyptian Olympic team and the Palestinian national team faced opposition from Egypt s politicians, parliamentarians, the press and the public. Playing the Palestinians in Al-Ram, a city near Jerusalem, would have meant, critics cried, a form of normalization with Israel. So loud …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: Messi not yet the best

Barcelona club president Joan Laporta is getting ahead of himself when he says Lionel Messi is the best footballer ever. One does not become the best in history in the course of a single week of hat tricks. To cement his place as the best footballer to have graced the planet, Messi must remain as …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: FIFA fails to see the green light

You would have thought that with all the refereeing mistakes that are allowing unfair goals to be scored, many in major games, FIFA would have decided to use goal-line technology and video replays to help decrease the gaffes. But instead, FIFA has decided not to use any technology at all. In essence, it is allowing …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: Sightseeing in England

Next Wednesday s friendly between Egypt and England would have taken on more significance had Egypt been going to the World Cup. England will be taking it seriously but Egypt will be taking in the sights. Then again, we would not be playing England if we were going to the World Cup. Had we gone …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: Pray that you're picked

The number of our Egyptian athletes publicly testifying to their faith has drastically increased in the last few years. Increasingly, the athletes are wrapping not only themselves in religion but also their exploits in religious significance. Such testimonies have all become an accepted part of the game today. At least they’ve been accepted by the …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: Sweet revenge

One had to stay up late Thursday night, not just because of the noisy celebrations that prevented sleep following Egypt’s 4-0 demolition of Algeria in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final in Angola, but to keep an eye on the news for fear that angry Algerian fans might have dismembered Egyptians in Benguela. Memories are …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: Calling on inspiration

No country has won the Africa Cup of Nations three times running. Egypt s bid to do just that should be incentive enough for the players who definitely need motivation. How hungry are the players for the ACN, starting in Angola on Jan. 10, after they failed to go to the World Cup? Most Egyptians, …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: Notwithstanding, Woods is the best

Seems an unlikely time to vote for him, but the selection of Tiger Woods as the Athlete of the Decade was more about his performance on the course than his transgressions as a person. The landslide 56 of the 142 votes that Woods received by members of the Associated Press is their way of saying …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: Still occupied

Now that the Israeli blitzkrieg is over, and most international TV crews have gone elsewhere to cover the next nine o clock news crisis, it would be easy to forget what happened to Gaza and its people. But never forget those 22 days. Always remember that even though the guns have fallen silent and Israeli …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: Punished for showing that you care

In this devastating three-week monster aggression, as the Palestinian death toll jumps over 1,100, almost half of them women and children, the profligate of bloodshed from Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip has forced one athlete to take action. Then action was taken against him. In his desire to express support for Palestine, Frederic Kanoute …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: To be left out

In 1960, South Africa was suspended by the International Olympic Committee and FIFA from participating in any regional or international sporting event because of its apartheid policy. The ban lasted 32 years until it was lifted in 1992 after Pretoria abandoned its racist policies. In the midst of Israel s war crime in Gaza, perhaps …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: While Gaza burns

It s very difficult to talk about sports as Palestinians in Gaza are being slaughtered right and left by this latest Israeli barbarity. The atrocity is the talking point of the moment; we really shouldn t be talking about anything else. In fact, in the face of this assault and carnage, you would suffer from …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: Report of the year

The committee entrusted with finding out why we did so badly in Beijing has come up with some suggestions that might make a difference. The seven-man team, called for by President Mubarak himself, recommends the return of a ministry of sports plus the reappearance of what used to be called the LE1 million project meant …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: It doesn't really matter

After their dismal performance in the Club World Cup in Japan, Ahly return to Cairo with tails between their legs. The great prediction of reaching the final and a possible showdown with Manchester United fizzled into a pathetic sixth place finish. So bad were Ahly that their much boasted 101-year-old history meant little after going …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: Jose knows what he's talking about

When it comes to Ahly s chances in the Club World Cup in Japan, a saner head is prevailing. Their Portuguese coach Manuel Jose is not looking higher than a third place finish, despite the multitudes around here who are already anticipating a final between the Cairo club and Manchester United and may be even …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: How fair was the choice?

It was pretty easy to pick this year s best football player in the world. The winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, had only one meaningful challenger, Lionel Messi, and both gave such riveting performances that a lottery could have been used to break the deadlock and few would have complained had that been the criteria. The choice …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk: Words that might have to be eaten

It must be music to our ears when we hear how wary our rivals are of us in next year s Confederations Cup in South Africa. In last week s draw, Egypt was paired in a group that has past and present World Cup champions Brazil and Italy. That should make us quiver with fear, …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports talk: Zamalek, where are you?

Zamalek are not thinking straight these days. On the one hand their LE1,000 a day Ghanaian import Junior Agogo has proved a complete dud but on the other they are incensed he was slapped with a three-match ban. On the one hand they are happy that today s derby with Ahly has been postponed because …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Sports Talk:The facts of the matter

Coton 2 Ahly 0. Ahly win on penalties. That should be the headlines after tomorrow s second leg, final match in the African Champions League. Are we sure? The facts say otherwise. Fact: Ahly of Egypt go into the game after beating Cameroon s Coton Sport 2-0 in Cairo. Fact: The Cameroonians need at least …

Alaa Abdel-Ghani