Egypt’s most popular sport is
football and there are many teams based in Cairo that
compete both nationally and regionally.
The most famous
Egyptian football teams are Al-Ahly and El Zamalek and their
yearly bouts are some of the best viewed tournaments in the
Arab and African World. Known as the main rivals of Egyptian
football, these two teams are the first and second champions
in their area.
The Al-Ahly football club was formed in 1907 primarily as a
club wherein student union leaders met at the time when the
country was struggling against colonization. Its name in
Arabic means “national”.
The 1940s saw the club dominate the Egyptian
football scene and the 1980s saw it win the African
Cup of Champions Clubs twice.
At the FIFA World Cup,
the Al-Ahly has the distinction of being the team
with the most appearances having qualified 3 out of
5 times. The Al Ahly is the most prestigious
football team in Egypt. To date, it has won 34 times
in the Egyptian League and 35 times in the Egyptian
Cup. The Confederation of African Football bestowed
upon it the prestigious title of African Club of the
Established in 1911, the El Zamalek Club was
previously known as the “Kasr al Neel”. It was later
called “Al Moukhtalat”.
Then, it was called “Farouk
AL Awal” in honor of King Farouk. After this, it was then
called El Zamalek, its present name. Since its founding, the
team has garnered 5 wins at the CAF Champions League and 11
domestic titles. The fierce rivalry between Al-Ahly and El
Zamalek is legendary in Egyptian as well as African and
Middle Eastern football.
The bouts between the two are
called the Al-Ahly versus El Zamalek Derby. In the 131 bouts
between the two teams, Al-Ahly has won 55 times while El
Zamalek has won 33 times.
These teams usually have their games at the Naser Stadium,
officially known as the Cairo International Stadium. It is
the largest stadium in Africa and the Middle East and one of
the world’s largest.
Built in 1960, the
Cairo International Stadium houses the main football
stadium wherein national Cairo football is always
played, an indoor stadium, a number of smaller
fields that hold regional, continental, and
international games such as the African Games.
It also hosted the
2006 African Nations Cup wherein Egyptian athletes
made headlines by winning a record number of five
times in the history of African Continental
Competition. Although Cairo lost the bid to host the
2008 Summer Olympics Game, it is slated to host the
Pan-Arab Games for the next two years. Although
Cairo has several other sports teams, the biggest
clubs are still the Al-Ahly and El Zamalek for
They remain to be, to
date, the biggest football teams in the country.
the headquarters of the Confederation of African Football
was in Cairo but was later moved to a small city located in
the outskirts of Cairo called the 6 October City. In October
2008, the International Rugby Board granted membership to
the Egyptian Rugby Federation.