Algeria’s media doubts Egypt’s good intention message

January 27, 2010

Egyptians celebrate a win

A good wish call from Egypt’s foreign minister to his Algerian counterpart ahead of a crucial game between the two nations was scorned by Algerian media.
“The Egyptian congratulations on Algeria’s qualification to play in the semi finals were three days late and do not augur well for the match on Thursday,” Echerouk newspaper wrote. “The Egyptians had ample to congratulate the Algerians, but they did not. This proves that the congratulations they eventually offered were not genuine, but aimed at appeasing the situation for their own sake.”
According to the newspaper, heavily criticized in Egypt for its aggressive stances, the Egyptian authorities had sent similar messages of good wishes a short time before their do-or-die match on November 14.
“We saw later how the congratulations turned into back-stabbing and how the football team and Algerian supporters were attacked in Cairo,” the paper said.
In a long editorial, Elkhabar on Wednesday warned against “being fooled by the sweet words uttered by the Egyptians.”
“History is repeating itself. Before the November 14 match, the Egyptians were very sweet, but it was not genuine and the Algerians were eventually attacked,” the paper wrote.
However, in Cairo, Egyptian media this time avoided making controversial remarks and focused instead on wishing luck to their national squad, barely referring to the Algerian team. The phone call between the two foreign ministers was published in the print media without comments, unlike in Algeria.
Feelings still run high in Algeria and Egypt 70 days after their World Cup Finals qualification match was played in a highly charged atmosphere resulted in post-game violence and weeks of vitriolic denigration and venomous war of words, bordering on a major diplomatic incident.
Although tempers have eased, officials still need to intervene to rein in acid remarks that could re-open wounds.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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