Sports – Daily News Egypt Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sun, 18 Nov 2018 19:55:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 EGP 2bn investments in cooperation project with Estadat: Minister of Youth and Sports Sat, 17 Nov 2018 17:14:49 +0000 Soon, organisational structure for project will be announced, in cooperation with sponsor Presentation company, says Sobhy

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The Ministry of Youth and Sports targets investments worth EGP 2bn from signing a contract with Estadat company to develop and manage 15 stadiums affiliated to the ministry throughout the country.

Ashraf Sobhy, the minister of youth and sports, told Daily News Egypt that the ministry is working to accurately survey the investments, however initially, they exceed EGP 2bn, as the company will manage the stadiums, develop them, and continue working on some of their facilities.

Estadat has signed a contract with the ministry in order to develop and manage the stadiums of Ismailia, Suez, Port Said, Damietta, Alexandria, Benha, Damanhour, Kafr El Sheikh, Shebin El Kom, Mansoura, Tanta, Fayoum, Minya, Souhag, and Aswan, according to the usufruct system for 15 years.

Mohamed Kamel, the chairperson of Estadat, said that the value of the usufruct is EGP 400m, in addition to an initial budget for the development and maintenance, as well as employee salaries, worth EGP 1.5bn, with the possibility of the value reaching up to EGP 2bn.

The development plan—whose first phase should be completed within 24 months—includes strengthening the mobile networks and extending Wi-Fi coverage to all the stadiums, as well as upgrade bathrooms, improve stadium screens, developing journalists’ cabin, enhancing the lighting and efficiency of the pitches, banners, switchboards and internal broadcasting.

Sobhy revealed that the artificial grass factory at the Hike Step will start in early December and will be of German quality.

The minister indicated that the volume of investments in the factory is estimated to be EGP 100m, which could potentially increase to EGP 200m over the upcoming period.

He remarked that the ministry is currently considering establishing a factory for balls. The number of balls consumed by Egypt is presently being surveyed in order to determine the volume of the factory’s investment and its operational capacity.

Sobhy estimated the revenues of offering youth centres to the private sector so far to be EGP 200m from the contracts signed, noting that the state is currently aiming to reach EGP 500m from the project by the end of this year.

The ministry of youth and sports has offered its assets in youth centres to the private sector according to the usufruct system from five to nine years in 11 governorates in the first phase, which included Alexandria, Beheira, Sharqeya, Gharbeya, Giza, Beni Suef, Assiut, Souhag, Qena, Luxor and New Valley.

The minister added that the maintenance expenses spent by the ministry over the past four months were estimated to be EGP 102m. Most of the amount went to sponsoring champions and leagues through the Olympic and the Paralympic committees.

He added that the budget of the national project for talents and youth, which includes preparing the talented in weightlifting, athletics, taekwondo, judo, boxing, table tennis, handball and basketball, is EGP 34m, with EGP 24m for the national project for youth, and EGP 10m for the talent and Olympic champion project.

He explained that a budget for the Thousand Professionals project has not yet been determined. Its financing is expected to be self-funded through investments, a hotline, TV shows, ads and sponsors.

He declared that the project is a long-term investment that the state expects revenues from a minimum of at least two years. Over the upcoming period, an organisational structure for the project will be announced, in cooperation with Presentation company, which is sponsoring the project.

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ATP Finals: Alexander Zverev sets up last four clash with Federer Fri, 16 Nov 2018 20:27:00 +0000 The post ATP Finals: Alexander Zverev sets up last four clash with Federer appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Alexander Zverev set up a last-four clash against Roger Federer in London after seeing off John Isner 7-6, 6-3 on Friday. Novak Djokovic will face Kevin Anderson in the other semi-final ahead of Sunday’s final.Zverev played American giant Isner knowing a win by any scoreline would take him through to the semi-finals of the season-ending tournament. The turning point in the round-robin match came at the end of the 12th game, when the 21-year-old German saved a set point on his own serve with an ace, going on to force a tie-break.

The players swapped mini breaks but Isner, 33, then faltered again on his own serve to hand the set to Zverev, meaning he no longer had any chance to qualify for the last four. In the second set a single break of serve in the eighth game proved decisive and Zverev served out the match.

"It's obviously great getting to the semi-finals," he said. "But the tournament isn't over. I am in the semi-finals. There's only good opponents left. There's only the best in the world.

"I'm playing Roger tomorrow, which is going to be a very difficult but hopefully very nice match. We'll see how far I can go."

Third seed Zverev, coached by Ivan Lendl, is the youngest semi-finalist at the ATP Finals since Juan Martin del Potro in 2009. He has three titles under his belt this year, including the Madrid Masters, and now has more wins in 2018 than any other player, with 56, against 19 losses.

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Germany: Could this crop of youngsters force Joachim Löw's hand? Fri, 16 Nov 2018 15:44:00 +0000 The post Germany: Could this crop of youngsters force Joachim Löw's hand? appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Could the crop of youngsters breaking into the national team force a changing of the guard faster than Joachim Löw is planning? The game against Russia will have some of the veterans looking over their shoulders.There was no Thomas Müller or Mats Hummel. Head coach Joachim Löw chose to rest Toni Kroos and didn't even name Jerome Boateng to his squad for this international break. And Sami Khedira has been out of the picture ever since last summer's World Cup. So the look of the German national team was quite different in Thursday's friendly against Russia from what has been in most of the previous international matches in what has been a terrible 2018 for Germany.

This also applies to the way Germany played – at least in the first half. While Germany have looked slow and spent much of their time playing the ball out on the wing in many of their previous games, they were noticeably quicker and more direct in their forward play.

Germany's third goal was a case in point. Kai Havertz played a through ball past a couple of Russian defenders, which Serge Gnaby ran on to and neatly slotted into the bottom-left corner.

Youthful attack, slightly older defense

Germany's attack on Thursday was made up of the 19-year-old Havertz and Gnabry, 23– along with two 22-year-olds,Leroy Sané and Timo Werner. They were supported in the midfield and on the flanks by 23-year-old Joshua Kimmich and Thilo Kehrer, 22.

The back line was a little older – in the form of Niklas Süle,23, Matthias Ginter, 24, Antonio Rüdiger, 25, and Jonas Hector – who has already reached the ripe-old age of 28. The only German player in his thirties was goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (32).

Even taking into account the fact that the opponents, Russia, were missing a number of regulars, the match in Leipzig provided a clear indication of how this team can play successful, attractive football. Also on display was the system that the national team will probably use going forward.

Havertz had a particularly good game, something that wasn't lost on the national team coach.

"He is developing well, he is very advanced for his age," Löw said after the match. "When you look at the third goal, that was quality, and he is surprisingly good for 19. I can see him being a key player over the next few years."

Changes in store for Netherlands match

Of course there won't only be good performances going forward, and there is still room for improvement in some areas. Havertz could stand to put on some muscle mass and improve his game defensively, while Julian Brandt needs to improve his self-confidence and start finishing counterattacks himself instead of whacking so many hopeless passes into the box. Even Gnabry and Sané still aren't getting things right all of the time.

Löw is bound to field a much different lineup against the Netherlands in the Nations League on Monday. Toni Kroos will be back, as will Marco Reus, assuming that he has recovered his fitness by then. He could also drop any one or all of Havertz, Gnabry and Kehrer, and maybe even Werner.

Julian Draxler, who was absent against Russia due to a death in the family, could find himself starting on the bench, possibly seated beside Müller.

Uncertain future for the 'old-timers'

Löw has repeatedly stressed that rebuilding the national team will require time, but this crop of young players could force his hand, making changes happen more quickly that he currently envisages. And the remaining members of the 2014 World Cup-winning team could see their international careers end earlier than they expect.

This is because their history of service is no guarantee of starting-11 places for players like Müller, Hummels, Boateng and Co., particularly when they are no longer performing at the required standard. At the same time, though, the national team coach probably won't want to get rid of all of his experienced players.

"In the second half we no longer had the pace, the structure, and the depth and width in our game," Löw said. "But that's what you get when you field young players."

These words will have be music to the ears of some of the veterans, as they are an indication that Low will probably want to keep some of the "old-timers" around – at least for now.

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Sports minister’s 150 days: achievements, failures Fri, 16 Nov 2018 14:25:31 +0000 Public work has always been the object of evaluation by the media to give constructive criticism and bring attention to the positive sides.

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About 150 days have passed since Ashraf Sobhy became the minister of youth and sports succeeding Khaled Abdelaziz. He was chosen in the new government led by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly with the beginning of the second term of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Daily News Egypt investigates the performance of Sobhy during this period.

Public work has always been the object of evaluation by the media to give constructive criticism and bring attention to the positive sides.

Since his first day in his position, Sobhy managed to make the most difficult decision for Egyptian football, which is the return of fans to stadiums after a long time of absence, bringing life back to football playgrounds. This is deemed the boldest decision made by the minister by far.

The recommendations of the World Youth Forum, recently held in Sharm El Sheikh in the presence of President Al Sisi, are considered the real challenge, presenting an executive vision to the ministry through continuous cooperation with other ministries and institutions.

Youth centres are seeing heavy demand on elections across the country following the invitation to hold elections in youth centres nationwide according to the Organisation of Youth Bodies Act no 218 for 2017, as well as the regulations of the basic system of youth centres in more than 4,000 youth centres across Egypt. The elections will end in December and are considered a main factor in eliminating corruption and relying on a new generation of young people.

Sobhy also directed his assistants to pay continuous surprise visits to several youth centres and directorates to follow-up the work progress and help overcome any obstacles that may affect the services presented to citizens in these centres.

The assistants include Yousef Wardani, assistant minister of youth development, and Mohamed El Kordy, assistant minister for championship affairs. The undersecretaries include Abdelawal Mohaed Abdel Raheem, undersecretary for championship affairs; Mohamed Hassan, undersecretary for youth development, and Ahmed Gomaa Mubarak, undersecretary for sports development.

Sobhy played a big role in solving Mohamed Salah’s dispute with the Egyptian Football Association.

He communicated with Salah to end the problem, giving attention to the importance of the player’s role in Egypt.

This is one of the most important positive aspects in Sobhy’s work since he took office. Other positive aspects also include activating the role of the private sector in sports investment to sponsor sportsmen and help them attain achievements in international and continental competitions.

A set of negatives that the minister fell into include the minister’s reliance on individuals who are trustworthy regardless of their skills. This has caused a major imbalance in the ministry. There is anticipation to see the minister addressing this issue and making changes in the near future.

Additionally, the minister is facing major issues within the media department of the sports sector because workers’ specialties are not clearly determined, which caused an issue that was controlled before it reached the media.

Moreover, the role of the youth sector’s media is ineffective in terms of coordinating events organised by the various administrations and departments, especially the central administration of cultural programmes, headed by Amal Gamal who authorises an employee in the administration to invite journalists to the event as a compliment, which was the case in the recent launch of the ‘Salam’ (Peace) ship. The media of the youth sector was the last to learn about the event.

Sobhy has failed so far in amending the new law despite his statements about a major gap in the law. He could not face the Olympic committee which rejects any amendments to the law without its accordance with the international Olympic Charter which prevents government intervention, which caused a clash between both parties.

The minister failed at forming committees for the sports sector in the field of marketing and investment. These committees do not any play roles except for receiving large sums of money on a monthly basis. The minister does not see their importance despite President Al Sisi’s directives to empower young people.

Our role as media is to monitor the negative sides, because media is an integral part of the system and its job is to reveal such issues clearly to public opinion.

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Egypt ready to face Carthage Eagles at Borg El-Arab stadium Fri, 16 Nov 2018 14:21:59 +0000 Absence of Fathy for injury raises concerns over team's right wing

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The Egyptian national team, led by Mexican manager Javier Aguirre, are set to face Tunisia on Friday in the fifth round of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Borg El-Arab stadium in Alexandria.

The team’s closed camp in Alexandria started on Tuesday with the participation of Egyptian footballers playing overseas, including Ali Ghazal, Taher Mohamed, Amr Warda, and Mohamed Salah.

The final training session of the Pharaohs will be on Thursday followed by a healing session to avoid injuries.

After the absence of Al Ahly midfielders Ahmed Fathy and Mohamed Hany for injury, Aguirre is expected to rely on Ahmed El Mohamady to play as right-back. Aguirre is also considering Mohamed El Ninny to play as attacking midfielder, and Ali Ghazal as a defensive midfielder.

Aguirre expressed his happiness for the strong competition between Al Ahly’s Marawan Mohsen and Salah Mohsen over the centre-forward position in the team before Tunisia, although Marawan’s chances are stronger. Aguirre said he will make his decision after the final training at Borg El Arab stadium. He noted that Marawan Mohsen forgot about what happened with his club in the CAF Champions League finale, stressing that he is a distinguished player with many skills. Al Ahly lost 4-3 to ES Tunis last week.

Daily News Egypt learned that the technical staff of the team held a meeting with the players and screened several videos showing the Tunisian team’s play strategy, as well as made a presentation about Egypt’s last encounter with Carthage Eagles to explain the negative aspects and mistakes that were committed by the players.

Ahmed Nagy, the goalkeepers’ trainer, met with the team’s GK Ahmed El Shenawy in a special session in which he stressed the importance of forgetting his club’s (Al Ahly) last game in Tunisia.

On the other hand, the Tunisian team, led by manager Mourad Okbi, arrived Alexandria on Wednesday evening. They also conducted their final training in preparation for the Friday game.

The Tunisian team will also miss the efforts of Mohamed Amine Ben Amor and Ghaylène Chaalali for injury. Okbi now considers other players to replace them in the match. Ben Amor and Chaalali were main elements relied on by Okbi in recent games.

The absence of Makram El Bedery, ES Sahel’s goalkeeper, for a week due to injury will be another problem for the Eagles. He will be replaced by Ayman Dahman.

Tunisia’s squad will include Hamdi Nagguez; Bassem Srarfi; Ferjani Sassi; Firas Chaouat; Hamza Mathlouthi; Walid Karoui; Ali Maâloul; Ghaylène Chaalali; Ayman ben Mohamed; Bilal Sidani; Saîf-Eddine Khaoui; Rami Bedoui; Makrem Bdiri; Yassine Meriah; Fakhreddine Ben Youssef; Ellyes Skhiri, and Ben Amor.

The Egyptian national team and its Tunisian counterpart have already qualified for the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon as Egypt holds nine points behind Tunisia which have 12 points.

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Opinion: Lausanne, we have a problem! Wed, 14 Nov 2018 11:40:00 +0000 The post Opinion: Lausanne, we have a problem! appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Calgary voters have clearly rejected the idea of bidding to host a second Winter Olympics in the Canadian city. If you can’t sell the Games to Calgary, the Olympics are in serious trouble, writes DW’s Chuck Penfold.More than 56 percent of the Calgarians who voted in Tuesday's plebiscite on whether to bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics gave the idea the thumbs down.

It was a surprisingly clear decision, with the polls prior to the vote having predicted a much closer result which could have gone either way. But the people have spoken, and they have delivered a clear rebuke to the idea of using public money to fund the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) two-week long winter party. Calgary City Council is expected to formally kill the bid at a meeting next week.

Of course, it's impossible to say exactly what turned so many Calgarians off of the idea, but there are a number of plausible factors, not least the IOC's reputation, which has been tarnished by a number of scandals over the past couple of decades. Foremost in Calgarians minds, though, had to be the costs associated with hosting the Olympics.

It's no secret that plenty of cities that have hosted either the Summer or Winter Olympics have found themselves left with hefty bills to pay – often including white-elephant venues – years after the athletes have come and gone. Montreal, Athens, Rio de Janeiro and Sochi are just a few of the examples.

However, this doesn't have to be the case, as demonstrated by Vancouver's very successful 2010 Winter Olympics, which, according to VANOC (Vancouver's organizing committee) broke even. This, apart from the success of the Canadian athletes at their last home Winter Games, is one reason Canadians look back with fondness on the 2010 Games.

This is a lesson that was not lost on the organizers of Calgary's proposed bid for 2026. And having hosted the Winter Olympics 30 years ago, Calgary had an advantage that few candidate cities have; the proposal put forward by Calgary 2026 envisioned using 11 of the venues that hosted events in 1988. Sure, they would have had to be refurbished, but this would have come at a fraction of the cost of building new ones from scratch.

And as disappointed as Mayor Naheed Nenshi and the bid committee may be, when you look at recent history, perhaps it really shouldn't come as any big surprise. Over the past five years, whenever populations of cities eyeing a bid have been given their say, they have rejected the Olympics – including in Germany.

In 2013, 52 percent of the voters of Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen said "nein" to the 2022 Winter Games, while at the other end of the country, just under 52 percent rejected the idea of Hamburg bidding for the 2024 Summer Games.

Elsewhere in Europe similar votes also killed several proposed bids including three for 2026, Graubuenden and Sion in Switzerland; along with Innsbruck, Austria, host of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Games. That's not to mention bids like Boston or Budapest that were dropped without a plebiscite – due to obvious strong public opposition.

But it's Calgary's clear rejection of 2026 that should really make President Thomas Bach and all the rest in the IOC's Lausanne headquarters really sit up and take notice. While the IOC's Agenda 2020 shows that they have been paying attention, it looks like it has not gone far enough. It's hard to imagine any city coming up with a more fiscally conservative bid to host a Winter Games – in a city in which many if not most will still look back fondly on those two weeks in February in 1988 that really put Calgary on the map in the eyes of the rest of the world.

If you can't sell the Olympics to voters in Calgary, what democratic society can you sell them to?

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Jadon Sancho turned down Bayern Munich to enjoy life at Borussia Dortmund Wed, 14 Nov 2018 10:27:00 +0000 The post Jadon Sancho turned down Bayern Munich to enjoy life at Borussia Dortmund appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

English teenager Jadon Sancho chose Borussia Dortmund over Bayern Munich, the Bavarian club have admitted. And he won’t likely be the last one as Dortmund focus their scouting efforts on English youth.Bayern Munich's explosive press conference last month made headlines for many reasons but one moment was especially peculiar.

Asked by a reporter from German weekly Sportbild why Bayern didn't sign English starlet Jadon Sancho despite interest in the player and a meeting with his agent, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic was abruptly cut off.

"I'll answer that," interrupted chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, telling the journalist that his question had already been answered privately and threatening legal action should he fail to drop the subject. "If your source has told you that, then you need to stop using that source," added Salihamidzic.

Now however, Salihamidzic has reportedly assured Sportbild that "it is correct that FC Bayern did want Jadon Sancho. An offer was made but unfortunately it was not accepted."

'Great perspectives'

According to the publication, despite offers of more money elsewhere, the former Manchester City teenager had already decided to join Borussia Dortmund after the Black and Yellows made a positive impression during months of intensive scouting.

"I decided on BVB because the club offered me great perspectives," Sancho told Sportbild. "They showed intense interest in me early on and that gave me a good feeling. Furthermore, lots of young players have developed well [in Dortmund] in recent years."

Since officially joining Dortmund on 31 August 2017 for just €8 million ($9 million), Sancho has undergone an impressive development of his own. The 18-year-old has scored five goals and contributed eight assists in 17 appearances for the Bundesliga leaders in all competitions this season, nailing down a first-team place and even making his international debut for England.

On Saturday, he looked far from out of his depth against defending champions Bayern, playing an influential role in his team's dramatic 3-2 win. He's feeling at home in Germany and has signed a contract extension to keep him in Dortmund until 2022.

"[Being at BVB] is taking my game to a different level," he told the BBC in his native Britain. "I'm playing and getting the chance to show the world what I can do on the pitch."

More where that came from …

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund are stepping up their interest in talent from "die Insel" – the island, as Germans refer to Britain.

"The focus is on the English market and Jadon is a good example," said Sebastian Kehl, the head of Dortmund's professional football division, in a recent interview with Britain's Daily Mail.

Could this mark a change in strategy from Dortmund, whose sporting director Michael Zorc has previously spoken of his club's interest in France? Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (scouted playing for Saint-Etienne), Ousmane Dembele (Rennes) and Dan-Axel Zagadou (Paris Saint-Germain) have all crossed the border into neighboring Germany in recent years.

"In England, the young players haven't been getting the chance to play because the structure of the clubs and squads is totally different," Kehl explained. "This could be a good thing for us, but we have to be fast."

A win-win for all parties

Of course, it's not just Borussia Dortmund – and other Bundesliga clubs – who stand to benefit from the acquisition of young English talent; the players themselves have a lot to gain as well.

After Oliver Burke's season with Red Bull in Leipzig and Reece Oxford's loan spell at Borussia Mönchengladbach, Arsenal teenager Reiss Nelson has followed his childhood friend Sancho across the English Channel.

"Sanch started the trend, I'd say," Nelson, having already racked up six goals on loan at Hoffenheim this season told the BBC. "We are kind of setting the trend for young lads to come over.

"I know a lot of the top [young] players in England and they're always asking: 'How is life in Germany, how is the Bundesliga?' I just say: 'It's great'. They believe in young players and that's the main thing. Getting the belief behind you to play football."

According to a study by the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) in Neuchatel, Switzerland, players aged 21 or under accounted for just 5.3 percent of all Premier League minutes played this season, as of Matchday 12. The Bundesliga, on the other hand, leads the way in that metric, with more minutes played by under-21 players (14.7 percent) than in any of Europe's top five leagues.

"If English clubs are not giving you a chance then going abroad is always an option," Sancho told the BBC. "That's what the Bundesliga is about. They believe in you, they trust you and, even if you're so young, they wouldn't get you out here if they didn't really believe in your ability."

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Opinion: The game the Bundesliga needed Sat, 10 Nov 2018 20:54:00 +0000 The post Opinion: The game the Bundesliga needed appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich delivered one of the all-time great games on matchday 11. For DW’s Jonathan Harding it was not just a timely match for the clubs, but also the Bundesliga.Games between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have been marketed as the Bundesliga's showcase fixture, but in recent years they have served simply as a reminder of the gap between Bayern and the rest. For 95 minutes on matchday 11 of the 2018-19 season though, Dortmund vs. Bayern delivered one of the greatest games in not only the fixtures' history, but also the league's. It was the game the league needed.

It was truly breathtaking. From wonder goals and outrageous moments of transition play to brilliant goal-line blocks and dramatic moments of disbelief, it was precisely "der Klassiker" that the Bundesliga has spent a long time marketing, but that hadn't really materialized in years.

Then there were individual performances. Marco Reus in the form of his life, dragging his side level, missing easy chances and then scoring hard ones. Joshua Kimmich delivered one of the best games of his career, sending in an incredible range of crosses and giving life to Bayern's wide play. Robert Lewandowski rediscovered his mojo, Mahmoud Dahoud changed the game and somehow, even Lukasz Piszczek and his hips are still going.

A game for the ages

Both teams played their part. For Dortmund, it was like a teenager's coming of age moment. Their confidence was gripped by angst, but only momentarily as they discarded their inhibition for that wonder that comes easier in youth: joy. Being young underdogs worked for Dortmund once, and given this side is still undefeated in the league it looks like it's working again.

For Bayern, this performance was proof that while their aging squad needs addressing, they are much better than their recent performances. They started superbly, and although hampered by individual mistakes looked greatly more invested and intent. Niko Kovac can take heart too. For while he (and Lucien Favre) will be concerned with some of the defensive decisions, there was plenty of attacking desire. Bayern, for the most part, looked familiar again.

And then there's the result. Dortmund winning in this fixture does not end Bayern Munich's title hopes, nor does it signal a new era, but when dawn comes tomorrow Dortmund will lead Bayern by seven points and have scored a remarkable 33 goals in their first 11 games. Bayern will be in the unfamiliar position of the challenger after playing the tragic hero in Saturday evening's great drama. The Bundesliga has its title race, but there's also quite a lot of fun to be had as well.

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Lewis Hamilton claims pole in close Brazil qualifying Sat, 10 Nov 2018 20:44:00 +0000 The post Lewis Hamilton claims pole in close Brazil qualifying appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Lewis Hamilton only narrowly edged out Sebastian Vettel in an extremely tight qualifying session in the Brazil. Less than two tenths of a second separated the front four.Mercedes and Ferrari seem very evenly matched going into Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix. Just 0.175 seconds separated Lewis Hamilton on pole position and Kimi Raikkonen in fourth during qualifying at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paolo.

Sebastian Vettel qualified second, with Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas going third-fastest.

Vettel, however, almost faced a penalty for race day. During the second session of qualifying, at a tense time due to changeable weather, Vettel was called for a routine weighing inspection at the weighbridge in the paddock.

The German was displeased by the timing of this random procedure, fearing it might jeopardize his chances of making the decisive top 10 shootout for pole. As a result, he did not switch off his engine, as required, and then drove off the weighbridge under his own power, again in breach of the rules.

FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer referred the matter to the stewards for review, justifying the decision by saying that weighing a car with a running engine "makes it difficult to get a stable result," and that by driving off the scales rather than being pushed, Vettel "destroyed the scales."

Ultimately the stewards settled for issuing Vettel with a reprimand and a fine of €25,000; he can keep his front row grid slot.

Hamilton, too, was involved in controversy after the session for impeding Williams driver Sergei Sirotkin during his flying lap. He escaped sanction.

On track, Max Verstappen was fifth fastest for Red Bull, followed by the Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc. Romain Grosjean of Haas, Torro Rossos's Pierre Gasly and Grosjean's teammate Kevin Magnussen rounded out the top 10.

Daniel Ricciardo was actually sixth fastest, but it was already clear that he would take a five-place grid penalty for taking replacement parts.

As to the very front of the grid, it might not be clear who's starting from the front until Sunday morning.

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Sad night for Al Ahly in Rades after losing African title Sat, 10 Nov 2018 17:32:18 +0000 Ashour, Walid Soliman are most affected...Fines imposed on players

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Al Ahly SC fans had a solemn night on Friday after the heavy loss to EST by three clean goals, resulting in losing the African title for the second year in a row, especially that this came as a surprise after winning the first round by 3-1, and getting very close to winning the ninth title.

The players were in a state of deep sadness following the end of the match, and some of them were hysterically crying in the dressing room at the Rades stadium, where the team had previously celebrated the champions title in 2006 against CS Sfaxien, and the second time in 2012 against EST. However, this time the situation was completely different.

Mohamed Youssef, the general coach and acting football director, imposed a major fine on players, and not just due to the loss, but also since the performance was disappointing.

The team’s technical director, French Patrice Carteron, lived some exceptional moments himself following the dream to win the second title after winning the championship in 2015 against TP Mazembe, which made him angry and disappointed, which was obvious to all after the match.

Carteron’s anger intensified, when the Confederation of African Football (CAF) accused him of being an accomplice in the incident of Moroccan Azaro tearing off his shirt at the first-leg match, which are all negative situations that Carteron had to go through over the past few hours.

The players who were most affected by the loss in Al Ahly were Hossam Ashour, the team’s captain, and Waleed Soliman, the team’s star in the current season, as both hysterical cried once they lost the African dream.

Ashour dreamed of winning the sixth title in his history to match Wael Gomaa’s record.

Soliman also wished to win the title for the third time in his history, but all these dreams vanished into thin air in the Rades stadium on Friday evening.

Loss is first nail in Carteron’s coffin

Mahmoud El Khatib, the chairperson of Al Ahly club, is preparing to lead a corrective revolution for the team after the loss on Friday against EST.

El Khatib is holding a special session with the technical staff led by Patrice Carteron, in the presence of Abdel Aziz Abdel Shafy, the sports director and member of the football committee, in addition to Alaa Abdel Sadek and Hossam Ghaly, members of the committee, as well as Mohamed Youssef, the general coach and acting manager of football, in order to discuss the reasons for the loss, even though the team won the first-leg round in Borg El Arab stadium by 3-1, however, the team’s performance in Rades was shocking.

The sure thing is that losing the African title was putting the first nail in Carteron’s coffin with Al-Ahly, especially that the team did not perform at its best even though they managed to reach the final.

Carteron raised wide controversy after his absence from the press conference that followed the match, which raised rumours about his resignation, however, Mohamed Youssef denied that.

This loss is also the final nail in the coffin of many other players in Al Ahly, such as Mido Gaber and Islam Mohareb. Even though they had the full chance over the past period, they did not manage to entirely take advantage of it.

For his part, El Khatib seemed angry about the loss for the second time, and is he is expected to intervene to readjust the track after his patience with the technical staff in the continental matches.

In the same context, the football committee in Al Ahly is preparing to hold new deals in January during the winter transfers period, to support the team which turned out to be in need of contracting with more than one player.

Hussein El Shahat, the player in Al Ain FC, remains a strategic target for Al Ahly over the upcoming period, even though there is a difficulty in including him as he is committed to his club with a contract.

Al Ahly entered negotiations with the player more than once over the past few months, however, they were not successful.

On a different level, the team will be taking a rest without training—a decision from the technical staff after returning from Tunisia on Saturday, before resuming training on Monday.

Apart from technical matters, Al Ahly has filed an official complaint to the CAF after the events the team was subjected to by EST fans, causing a head injury for midfielder Hisham Mohamed.

Al Ahly is expected to respond over the next few days to the violations against the club, especially that there is a state of anger, which CAF used against the club, represented in suspending Moroccan Waleed Azaro, the team’s attacker, and accusing Carteron of being complicit with Azaro in an official statement.

All of this triggered an overall state of discontent in the team whose officials feel they are dealing with all these challenges alone, without support from the Football Association and its President Hani Abo Reda, as well as the FIFA, unlike the positive role played by the Tunisian Football Federation with EST over the past few days since the end of the first-leg match in Borg El Arab and its success in pressuring CAF to suspend Azaro.

The past few hours have seen intense contact between Mahmoud El Khatib and Abo Reda, with great blame from Al Ahly’s side who was taking part in the championship, carrying Egypt’s name, all of it caused tension with the Egyptian Football Association.

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Dortmund beat Bayern in 'Klassiker' worth the name Sat, 10 Nov 2018 16:38:00 +0000 The post Dortmund beat Bayern in 'Klassiker' worth the name appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Borussia Dortmund have turned the tables on Bayern Munich to win a thrilling encounter at the top of the Bundesliga. BVB stretch their lead over the Bavarians to seven points in the process.Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Bayern Munich
(Reus 49', 67', Alcacer 73' – Lewandowski 26', 52')

In one of the most thrilling games in recent Bundesliga history, let alone in the history of this fixture, Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern to open up a seven-point gap at the top of the Bundesliga.

Bayern came flying out of the blocks, but it was Dortmund who had the best chance to begin with when Marco Reus nicked the ball off Mats Hummels only to see his low effort comfortably saved by Manuel Neuer.

Dortmund remained dangerous on the break, but Bayern still looked strong. Franck Ribery was found wide open at the back post by a Joshua Kimmich cross, but miscued and then the pair combined again, exchanging audacious passes before Kimmich slipped Serge Gnabry in wide right and Robert Lewandowski headed in superbly.

Bayern held that lead until the break before the game erupted in the second half. Reus burst into the box and got to the ball before Manuel Neuer, who dragged his foot and was caught by the keeper. The BVB captain sent the keeper the wrong way to level the scores. Only three minutes later, Kimmich beat Hitz to the ball and under pressure sent a delicious chip for Lewandowski to head into the empty net.

The bombastic game continued. Reus thought he had a second when he was unmarked in front of goal — but Kimmich somehow blocked the ball off the line. Just minutes later, Paco Alcacer came off the bench and looked sure to score after Jadon Sancho left Hummels in his dust, but the Spaniard took a touch and the ball was blocked. Then Reus fired wide after another Bayern error and it looked like Dortmund were never going to take a chance again.

But soon after that, Lukasz Piszczek swung in a cross from the right and Reus fired a half-volley into the far corner, taking the hardest of his three chances from open play. "It was either going into the Südtribüne or the back of the net," he said afterwards.

With the scores level again, Bayern pushed to restore their lead but Dortmund stole the ball back and transitioned forward swiftly and superbly. Axel Witsel sent Alcacer through and this time the Spaniard held his nerve to dink the ball over Neuer and send the home fans into delirium.

In the final minute of added time, Lewandowski scored an incredible back-heel to seemingly complete the dramatic game — but for the second time that half, the Pole had a goal disallowed for offside.

And then, somehow, it was over and Dortmund had won the day and left many believing they might just win it all.

—- Post-match quotes —-

More Niko Kovac: "We were trying to attack down the flanks, that was working really well, particularly in the first half." He praises Ribery and Kimmich's efforts to that end.

Bayern coach Niko Kovac is next on the Sky mic: "We really saw an excellent match between two top teams tonight. First half we had the game in our hands, the second belonged to Dortmund."

Reus, asked what a seven-point lead means for the Bundesliga: "I'm saying nothing at all there!" Ever the pro, he does go on to say something: "Seven points are seven points, but Bayern are very strong."

More Reus, asked about the second goal: "I just went for it, full power. It was clear to me: either it ends up in the Südtribüne, or in the back of the net. I'm happy with where it ended up."

One of the men of the moment now, Marco Reus: "In the second half, all of a sudden, we started playing football … It really was an awesome game, I've gotta say it. It was incredible to a part of it."

Mats Hummels, again on Sky. He tells them that he was under the weather with a cold and that that was the reason for his early substitution after some big errors. "I'm annoyed with myself that I didn't go to the coaches, by half time at the latest, to say that it wasn't working."

Neuer, asked about the penalty: "I withdraw my hands completely … The ball's rolling out of play. I'm pulling out of the challenge and he kicks me in the stomach." Though Neuer did also acknowledge that "you can give those," he didn't sound convinced that the ref *should*.

Manuel Neuer, talking to Sky: "We had problems when Dortmund attacked on the counter and could play in behind our back line. It's hard to deal with them in those situations."

First post-game interviews getting going now.

—- As it happened —-

90+6' IT'S ALL OVER! Dortmund win a "Klassiker" worthy of the name!

90+5' Scenes! Lewandowski scores with a deft back-heel, it's disallowed for offside again. The move started with Franck Ribery, as the last man with Neuer out of his goal, dribbling the ball back into the Dortmund half.

90+4' Handbags in the Dortmund box. Hitz and Wagner squabble over possession of a dead ball. Corner Bayern. Neuer's coming up. Hitz booked for holding up play.

90+2' Hugely dangerous in-swinging cross from Renato Sanches. Three Bayern players try to reach it, with Ribery coming closest, but none of them can make contact. "Inviting" barely begins to describe that ball.

90' Axel Witsel pulls the trigger from range but launches it high into the stands. Also, to the home fans' dismay, there will be five additional minutes.

82' Several subs in the latter stages. Thomas Delaney's on for Dortmund, replacing Bruun Larsen. Bayern bring on Sandro Wagner for Müller.

78' Bayern remind Dortmund they're still in this one, finding Thomas Müller with a free kick. It's deflected wide.

74' Not the Bierdusche Ulli Hoeness had in mind! The Bayern boss appeals for offside as Alcacer breaks clear, and gets a half liter of the wrong type of beer in the back of his neck for his troubles. (We're assuming there's a ban on Bavarian brews in Dortmund tonight!)

73' GOAL! Paco Alcacer, Dortmund lead for the first time! Brutal counter attack, starting with Sancho and finishing Alcacer all alone against Neuer. He takes his time, waits for Neuer to commit, and chips it up and over the Bayern keeper.

67' GOAL! Reus ties it up in a neat little bow again! Having missed the easy ones, Reus nets with a lovely first-time half-volley on his right. Fine pass from Dahoud to make the space, with Piszczek delivering the cross for his captain and fellow veteran in Dortmund's young squad.

65' Another massiver opportunity spurned by BVB! Hakimi wins the ball high up the pitch and feeds Reus, who skies his shot under some pressure.

62' Hummels' error allows Jadon Sancho to break free down the right and round Neuer. Sancho puts the ball on a plate for substitute Paco Alcacer, but the Spaniard takes a touch before pulling the trigger, allowing a defender to block his shot. Sancho's reaction — leaping up and down and punching the air — says it all; he thought that was 2-2.

61' Disallowed goal! Lewandowski finds the net for a third time, but it's rightly called back for offside.

59' Marco Reus misses from point-blank range. Joshua Kimmich throws himself between the ball and a certain goal. The right back has an assist, played the starring role in the build-up to the other goal, and has now denied Dortmund and Reus an equalizer. Not a bad night at the office.

57' There's only so many goal-related Lewandowski stats one can stomach nowadays. But still, try this one on for size: this is the 49th game of the Pole's career in which he's scored two or more goals.

52' GOAL! It's Lewandowski again. He deflates the Westfalenstadion once more. A slightly messy Bayern build-up, ending with incredible presence of mind from Joshua Kimmich to chip the ball up for Lewandowski to head home.

52' Dortmund piling on the pressure now, smelling blood. But they've not been able to turn a series of dangerous moves into a shot.

49' Neuer is furious, thinking that he tried to pull his hands out of the challenge and avoid the foul. That said, his on-rushing body still makes major contact with Reus as he tries to round the Bayern keeper. Not the most clear-cut call ever, but it looked a penalty to us.

49' GOAL! Reus steps up and nails his own penalty.

48' Penalty Dortmund! Neuer brings down Marco Reus in the box.

46' Second half restarts. Dahoud replaces Julian Weigl in the Dortmund midfield.

Germany coach Joachim Löw is in the crowd tonight. No surprise really, half his squad's in action! Löw pointed out how Dortmund seemed set up to pounce on the counterattack, and noted how they'd picked the lock on several occasions on the break, only to fail to find the final pass.

HT analysis: No anticlimaxes here, this one's living up to the hype. Bayern set the tone with a furious start to the game, soon rocking Dortmund out of their reverie. Marco Reus will surely rue his missed opportunity early on after picking Mats Hummels' pocket. That was arguably the best chance of the game, even though Lewandowski's barely-marked diving header in the six-yard box was bread and butter for the merciless marksman. Much of Bayern's best stuff has been going through Joshua Kimmich on the right and Franck Ribery on the left. For Dortmund, Reus and Sancho have looked lively going forward.

Worryingly for the hosts, Reus' shot was their only one of the night so far, despite several promising moves, especially on the counterattack. Favre's crew will need to work on pass selection in the final third after the break.


45+1' A period of comparative calm to close out the first half. Both sides lacking quality in the final third, but the tempo's still through the roof.

39' Reus opted to loft the set piece into the box in the end instead. Nothing came of it.

39' Free kick Dortmund in shooting range, foul on Götze by Hummels.

36' Is Robert Lewandowski the most painful free transfer in Borussia Dortmund history? He's scored seven for Bayern in their last four league meetings with his former employers.

33' Ribery again! Hitz saves well low to his right. Bayern's veteran Frenchman is finding space on a regular basis out on Lukasz Piszczek's defensive turf.

30' That goal's knocked few decibels off the crowd noise. No doubt Dortmund's ever-vocal faithful will find the right notes again shortly.

26' GOAL! Dortmund 0-1 Bayern. Lewandowski against his old club.

Serge Gnabry put the ball on a plate for Lewandowski with a cross from the right. Joshua Kimmich highly involved in the buildup, spraying a crossfield ball to Ribery, getting it back, and then spotting Gnabry in position to deliver the decisive delivery for Lewandowski.

24' Ribery goes close again, wriggling into the area and lashing off a left-footed shot. Wasn't a clean strike though, and didn't test stand-in goalie Marwin Hitz.

21' Here's an image of the moment when Reus went for placement, rather than power. Still the chance of the game so far, though Ribery's wasn't half bad at the other end.

18' Can anyone cross quite like Kimmich, by the way? That delivery was on his weaker left, not that it showed.

17' Ribery all alone at the back post from a pinpoint Joshua Kimmich cross. He doesn't make clean contact and looks to the heavens, knowing he could have done better.

13' If you told Jadon Sancho two years ago that he'd be turning Mats Hummels inside out as a Dortmund starter, would he have believed you? Incredible progression for the young Englishman.

10' Marco Reus, one-on-one with Manuel Neuer… Denied! He tried to side-foot it to the corner but couldn't put it past the Bayern keeper. Chance came out of nothing as Reus pinched the ball near the halfway line and made a break for it.

7' Dortmund have had a couple of promising counterattacks, responding to the early Bayern onslaught. But they're yet to find the right combination of passes, even when outnumbering the defense.

3' Really high energy start from Bayern, who are pressing high and trying to catch Dortmund out early in their own half. So far, it's working.

2' First bright moment of the game from Leon Goretzka, completing a tasty one-two with Robert Lewandowski. Dortmund recovered to clear for a corner before the Pole could shoot, though.


— As the players line up, the cameras pan to probably two of the least popular guests in the stadium tonight: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness have both ventured into enemy territory for this one.

— Youth is surely on Dortmund's side this evening. On average the BVB starters are four years younger than their visitors.

— Huge cheers in the Westfalenstadion and/or Signal Iduna Park as the Dortmund lineup is read aloud by the stadium announcer. Players in the tunnel, ready to step into the cauldron.

— Here's a quick form check for the respective sides' last 10 games (in all competitions).

Dortmund: W,W,W,W,W,W,D,W,W,L

Bayern: D,L,D,L,W,W,W,W,D,W

That said, Dortmund's midweek trip to Atletico Madrid — their first defeat of the season — was a somewhat sobering affair and should have offered some insight for Bayern coach Niko Kovac.

Opinion: Atletico showed Niko Kovac how to dismantle Dortmund

— Need more reasons to tune in 15 minutes from now? We can't imagine why you would. But nevertheless, here's five:

Five reasons to watch Der Klassiker

— BVB coach Lucien Favre on Sky before the game: "Of course against such a team we really must deliver a very good performance. We must be smart, we must attack smart." Asked what that means, Favre replies: "We can't allow any unnecessary counterattacks."

— The Football Leaks revelations in Der Spiegel are also on Dortmund fans' minds as Bayern Munich come to town. A fan banner on the Südtribüne, the main home fans' hangout, reads: "Borussia Dortmund must not be part of an elite league that is closed off. NO to the Super League!"

— Marco Reus, a player plagued by injuries down the years whose best appeared behind him a few months ago, has enjoyed a real renaissance under Lucien Favre. Perhaps that's no surprise, it was under Favre at Borussia Mönchengladbach that Reus' star meteorically rose, leading to his move to Dortmund. The old boy in a very young attack could be key this evening, as shown in the video below. (Content not available in all countries, our apologies if you can't watch.)

— Want some (hopefully) informed insight into how this one might pan out? We've stuck our collective necks out and offered some predictions:

Der Klassiker: DW's predictions for Dortmund vs. Bayern

— Bayern Munich have opted for an attacking midfield and for experience at the back. Both Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng start in central defense, with Niklas Süle on the bench. Also controversially riding the pine is James Rodriguez. Serge Gnabry, Thomas Müller and Franck Ribery get the attacking midfield berths, with Leon Goretzka and Javi Martinez likely to play slightly more withdrawn roles. No surprise who's leading the line: Polish poacher extraordinaire and former Dortmund ace Robert Lewandowski, who hit a brace midweek in the Champions League.

— Let's start with a look at the lineups for both sides. Dortmund have dropped Paco Alcacer and will play Mario Götze against his old club. BVB are also missing first-choice keeper Roman Bürki. His Austrian compatriot Marwin Hitz will deputize between the sticks in the biggest game of Dortmund's season so far.

— Hello and welcome to the big game of the weekend in Germany, if not Europe. Borussia Dortmund look to stretch their lead over Bayern Munich to seven points. Meanwhile, the reigning champs seek to silence their critics and burst BVB's autumn bubble. Over the next few hours, the next chapter of the 2018/19 Bundesliga season will be written. Follow along with us!

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Cavalier Leverkusen look to make ground on rock solid RB Leipzig Fri, 09 Nov 2018 18:26:00 +0000 The post Cavalier Leverkusen look to make ground on rock solid RB Leipzig appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Der Klassiker isn’t the only big Bundesliga clash this weekend. Bayer Leverkusen’s recent attacking revival faces another stern test as Heiko Herrlich’s men take on the league’s best defensive outfit, RB Leipzig.There's little denying that most Bundesliga eyes will be on one match in particular this weekend. If you want to find out why you shouldn't miss this installment of Der Klassiker, have a read of this. Want to know what our reporters think will happen? That one is here.

Though for many German fans, RB Leipizig and Bayer Leverkusen share a few undesirable corporate traits, the contrasts between the two sides are what stand out ahead of their Matchday 11 meeting on Sunday afternoon.

While Leverkusen clinched an early berth in the Europa League knockout rounds on Thursday, Leipzig's loss to Celtic leaves them with plenty to do. While the Werkself languish in the bottom half, the Red Bulls are right in the chasing pack. And while Heiko Herrlich's team have served up a feast of goals recently, Ralf Rangnick's men haven't conceded in their last four league games.

"Keeping it tight at the back is the key to our game," said the interim Leipzig coach after last week's 3-0 win over Hertha Berlin. "All the lads work hard off the ball, and really enjoy keeping a clean sheet."

If Leverkusen's players also enjoy shutting their opponents out, it's not a pleasure they've been able to indulge often. Bayer have conceded more league goals than all but promoted Düsseldorf and bottom club Stuttgart, recording just two clean sheets in their 10 league games.

"In the games at Werder Bremen [a 6-2 league win] and at Gladbach [a 5-0 German Cup victory] we showed what our attacking players can do against well organized defenses, what we are capable of," said Herrlich.

"But we have definitely conceded too many goals — and not just last weekend [when they lost 4-1 to Hoffenheim]. Our primary target has to be to concede fewer goals… we have to be more solid. It's down to us all to defend better."

Kevin Volland, Julian Brandt and Karim Bellarabi, who is a doubt for the weekend after missing Thursday's win over Zurich, have formed a potent attacking blend but in the shape of Jonathan Tah, Sven Bender and Mitchell Weiser, Herrlich also has some talented players at the back. However, the former Germany striker has not been able to find a balance in the same way as Rangnick.

In his second spell as head coach while Leipzig await the arrival of Julian Nagelsmann, Rangnick's outfit have recovered from a poor start to emerge as one of the division's form sides. Since a matchday 5 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt, Leipzig's points tally is second only to leaders Borussia Dortmund and they've conceded just a late Andrej Kramaric consolation in victory over Hoffenheim.

With Timo Werner, Yusuf Poulsen and Jean-Kevin Augustin all among the goals this term, Rangnick's men pose a serious threat, especially to sides as porous as Sunday's visitors. A Leipzig win would leave Leverkusen 11 points behind their opponents, and potentially the Champions League spots, and would surely leave Herrlich's future in the balance over the international break.

Elsewhere on Matchday 11

– Along with Bayern, Dortmund, Leverkusen and Leipzig, Schalke and Frankfurt also meet this weekend. That Sunday game in Frankfurt means six of last year's top seven face each other in the space of just over 24 hours.

– While Der Klassiker is critical to the top of the table, Nuremberg vs. Stuttgart looks an early six-pointer at the wrong end.

– With Bayern and Dortmund kicking off late on Saturday, Werder Bremen and Borussia Mönchengladbach have a chance to put some pressure on the big two on Saturday afternoon.

Matchday 11 fixtures

Hannover vs. Wolfsburg (Friday, 20:30 CET)

Fortuna Düsseldorf vs. Hertha Berlin (Saturday, 15:30)

Freiburg vs. Mainz

Hoffenheim vs. Augsburg

Nuremburg vs. Stuttgart

Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach

Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich (Saturday, 18:30)

RB Leipzig vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Sunday, 15:30)

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Schalke (Sunday, 18:00)

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Tonight Al Ahly puts final touches on Rades plan Thu, 08 Nov 2018 10:00:02 +0000 Carteron decides on Azaro’s substitute after today’s practice…Youssef warns players from provocations of EST supporters

The post Tonight Al Ahly puts final touches on Rades plan appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The first football team in Al Ahly will conclude on Thursday its preparations for tomorrow’s match against Tunisian EST at the Olympic stadium in Rades, as Patrice Carteron puts the final touches on the team’s plan.

Al Ahly’s technical body will decided in today’s practice session the attacker to play tomorrow instead of Waleed Azaro, who was suspended for two games after the incident where he tore his shirt off. The comparison is between Marawan Mohsen and Salah Mohsen, and the final decision will be made after tonight’s practice session.

Additionally, tonight Carteron will also make his final decision regarding either playing with the trio in the midfield, or retaining the familiar form of the team, with the aim of creating a numerical intensity with the participation of Akram Tawfik with Hossam Ashour and Amr Elsolia.

With the result of the first leg march that Al Ahly won 3-1, a draw, winning or losing by one point, will ensure the team wins the championship for the ninth time in its history, and the first since 2013, then returning to participating in the Club World Cup to be held in UAE next month.

Al Ahly’s mission arrived at Carthage airport in Tunisia on Tuesday, as the team practiced over the past two days in one of the courts near the hotel the team is staying at. Mahmoud El Khatib, the club’s president, and the team’s delegation held in Tunisia more than one session in order to encourage players and qualify them mentally for the game.

For his part, Mohamed Youssef, the general coach, warned the team from the attempts of the EST supporters to provoke the players during the match, stressing that this is very common.

‘Presentation’, Al Ahly’s sponsor, announced that several discounted trips to Tunisia were declared to allow fans to travel from and to Cairo to support their team at the stadium.

VAR under testing

The video assistant referee (VAR) technology will be tested tomorrow during the EST and Al Ahly match on Friday. This followed the controversy the was raised regarding the first use of this technology at Borg El Arab stadium.

The African Football Confederation (CAF) has not officially announced until this moment the name of the referee to be leading the match tomorrow, even though Ethiopian Bamlak Tessema is the most prominent name on the table for the match in Rades.

Al Ahly without Azaro…four wins, four defeats, and two draws

CAF has sent a heavy blow to Al Ahly’s technical staff after announcing the suspension of Moroccan Waleed Azaro for two games and imposing a fine of $20,000 on Al Ahly  after the incident of tearing his own shirt off during the African Champions League final against EST.

Azaro was not present during Al Ahly’s matches last season and this season, missing 10 games, including the two matches against Semouha last season and the match against Zamalek, where his team lost 2-1.

Al Ahly played a match against Al Ittihad Alexandria Club in the Premier League this season without Azaro and the team lost the match by 4-3.

In the African Champions League this season, Azaro was also not present during the match against EST in the first round of groups, which ended in a draw. He was also absent during the Kampala City match where Al Ahly  lost by 2-0.

In the absence of Azaro, Al Ahly  won four matches, lost four matches and reached a draw in two matches. The team has scored 13 goals and conceded 12 goals.

Al Ahly  has lodged a protest against suspending its Moroccan attacker. “The incident of the player tearing his shirt off was a non-athletic behavior which the player was held accountable for by his club, but such an incidents is also common in all matches and this is not how players should be penalized, which makes us wonder about the rules of such sanctions, especially that this happened before the final match of a major championship such as the finale of the African Championship,” Al Ahly  said in an official statement.

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Champions League: Bayern best AEK, Lewandowski poaches a pair Wed, 07 Nov 2018 22:18:00 +0000 The post Champions League: Bayern best AEK, Lewandowski poaches a pair appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Both goals hailed from a familiar source as Bayern sealed three points at home against rank outsiders AEK Athens. The victory never looked in real doubt, but the performance left much to be desired.Bayern Munich 2-0 AEK Athens
(Lewandowski pen 31', 71')

Whatever else might be going wrong at Bayern Munich at the moment, Robert Lewandowski's nose for goal remains sharper than a Bavarian Mountain Hound's sense of smell. The Pole left AEK's goalie Vasilios Barkas no chance from the penalty spot after half an hour, and was the quickest to respond when Joshua Kimmich's corner was flicked on towards the back post.

The performance was not the runaway thrashing many might have expected, especially as an off-form Bayern seek to send a message ahead of Saturday's crucial Bundesliga game against Borussia Dortmund. Nevertheless, Bayern did enough to secure three points and never looked in any real danger in defense on the night. They allowed only two shots, neither of them on target. Some of the errors in possession in the middle of the park, though, are liable to be punished more efficiently if they resurface this weekend against BVB.

Besides Lewandowski, midfielder Leon Goretzka probably came closest to adding a goal, going close with a first-half header and a second-half volley. Joshua Kimmich was as busy as usual at right back, crossing with the relentless precision that's expected of the 23-year-old nowadays. Franck Ribery was full of fire, too, while Thomas Müller was involved in almost everything in the first half, but unable to provide a meaningful final touch.

The game all-but guarantees Bayern a spot in the last 16, although mathematical certainty will not come for at least one more match. We'll have to wait four days to see if it was enough of a confidence boost for Kovac's crew ahead of their weekend trip to Dortmund.

As it happened…


90+4' One last chance, a free kick from some distance. Alaba and Kimmich squabbling over the ball. Alaba fires wide of the post, with the last kick of the game.

90+1' Finally a pause in play, allowing Lewandowski to get a standing ovation for his brace. Wagner comes on — for what's left of the three added minutes, anyway.

89' Renato Sanches has also joined the fray for some junk minutes late on, looks like Sandro Wagner's next in line.

84' Sub: Ribery makes way for Rafinha, after an impressive performance when measured against Bayern's fairly drab baseline.

78' Slapstick stuff in the box there. Kimmich's corner fumbled by keeper Barkas, then the ball loops up into the air and drops back down onto the crossbar. Nearly one of the most unusual own goals imaginable.

76' The game's opening up now. Much more space for Bayern as AEK have no choice but to try to push forward. Lewandowski wins a corner after finding lots of room down the left. Following the set piece, which was half-cleared, both Müller and Kimmich had shots at goal, culminating in another Bayern corner.

71' GOAL Bayern, 2-0. Lewandowski clears up at the back post from a flicked-on corner. Quite a display of agility from the Pole to reach that and keep it down with one of his lanky limbs.

60' Lewandowski denied one-on-one after a defense-splitting through ball from Javi Martinez. Barkas got a glove to the left-footed shot.

57' Serge Gnabry fires over the crossbar from distance. Bayern creating a little more of late.

55' So close Leon Goretzka, arriving in the box for his second shot on goal of the night. Sharp save to deny the former Schalke midfielder.

55' Highlight of the second period so far is a "what might have been" moment when Joshua Kimmich whipped in a beautiful left-footed cross; fortunately for AEK, a defender got there first.

Second half begins.

HT analysis: Not the sort of showing to set Bavarian pulses racing thus far. The score, at least, will please Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness, both on hand in the stadium ahead of Saturday's big test at Dortmund in the Bundesliga. The Bayern bosses looked more than a little relieved when Lewandowski's laser-guided penalty left Vasilios Barkas no chance in the AEK goal. Thomas Müller stood out in the opening period, both for being involved in most of the promising attacks, and for failing to provide the final touches.


45' Granted, AEK's lack of attacking impetus plays no small part in this, but it's still interesting that Bayern haven't made a successful tackle all half.

36' Thomas Müller's involved in almost everything for Bayern, but he can't buy an end product. In the space of 60 seconds, he had two poor crosses blocked from a dangerous spot out right, then had a shot charged down by the last man in the area. He's getting in the right places as usual, and then the trouble starts.

31' GOAL! 1-0 Bayern. Penalty Lewandowski. Stutter step. Top corner.

29' Huge chance goes begging as Müller fires wide at the back post from a corner. However, the whistle's gone for a foul on Lewandowski in the six-yard box before the ball reached Müller — it's a penalty! Referee's assistant called it, and alerted the main man.

22' Well, time's ticking by without too much by way of action in this one. Bayern have had the lion's share of the ball (though just 58-42 possession), yet have only managed to create a pair of shots in the first half of the first period.

7' Leon Goretzka forces Barkos into a sharp save, rising to head a cross from Joshua Kimmich.

5' First big chance of the game for the visitors. AEK connect from a corner and defender Lampropoulos heads off target. That would have put some fizz in proceedings the other side of the post.


— Hello and welcome to our live updates on Bayern Munich's Champions League group stage game at home to AEK Athens. The lineups are out with less than an hour to go until kickoff, so let's start right there:

Bayern find room in their XI for Jerome Boateng and Thomas Müller, with both the German mainstays facing fairly consistent criticism this season. Javi Martinez will hold station in front of the back four, while Müller, Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry and Franck Ribery look to create chances for lone striker Robert Lewandowski.

If things end up being comfortable for the heavy favorites and hosts, we could see a new face as a substitute later in the second half. Attacking midfielder and Munich-born Meritan Shabani, still just 19, is the unfamiliar name on the Bavarians' bench this evening.

AEK Athens can't boast such household names. Currently fifth in the league at home, they'll be lining up with five at the back. It could be a tough night for 24-year-old keeper Vasilios Barkos, who broke into the senior Greek team this year. Barkos has played all his professional football in Greece but was born in Zetten in the Netherlands, just a short drive from the German border. AEK have reportedly been resisting inquiries for the young keeper, arguing he's worth an eight-figure transfer fee. He could have a good chance to demonstrate this tonight.

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Champions League: Hoffenheim stun Lyon with unlikely comeback Wed, 07 Nov 2018 22:05:00 +0000 The post Champions League: Hoffenheim stun Lyon with unlikely comeback appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

It was another flawed performance by Julian Nagelsmann’s side, but this time they rewarded themselves with a point rather than dropping two. Making the knockouts though, looks a long shot.Lyon 2-2 Hoffenheim
(Fekir 20', Ndombele 28' – Kramaric 65', Kaderabek 90+2')

Hoffenheim have had their moments in Europe this season, and in Lyon they came better late than never as a last-minute equalizer in the pouring rain salvaged their slim hopes of making the knockouts.

Despite pressing early on, Hoffenheim found themselves a goal behind when Nabil Fekir poked home in from a goalmouth scramble that began after Tanguy Ndombele's shot from the edge of the box hammered off the post.

Anthony Lopes made a brilliant save to deny Ishak Belfodil in the six-yard box and then suddenly Hoffenheim found themselves two goals down when an unmarked Ndombele scored inside the box thanks to a hefty deflection.

Kerim Demribay tried to get the visitors back in it, but Lopes made another strong save to keep out his long-range effort.

Things got worse for the Bundesliga side in the second half as Kasim Adams picked up his second yellow and was sent off, leaving Lyon plenty of space to score more. Fekir came closest, but was denied by Oliver Baumann.

Hoffenheim were sparked into life when Andrej Kramaric's mazy run ended with a low drive into the bottom corner, although the goal shouldn't have stood as the ball was out of play earlier in the move.

With time running out, Joelinton flicked on a deep free-kick and Pavel Kaderabek was on hand to convert at the back post with Lyon appealing for offside.

The result leaves Hoffenheim in third in Group F with three points, three behind Lyon with two games to play.

Champions League Results:

Group E:

Bayern Munich 2-0 AEK Athens

Benfica 1-1 Ajax

Group F:

Manchester City 6-0 Shakhtar Donetsk

Lyon 2-2 Hoffenheim

Group G:

CSKA Moscow 1-2 Roma

Plzen 0-5 Real Madrid

Group H:

Juventus 1-2 Manchester United

Valencia 3-1 Young Boys

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Vietnam GP to join Formula One calendar Wed, 07 Nov 2018 12:46:00 +0000 The post Vietnam GP to join Formula One calendar appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

A 5.5 kilometer street circuit in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi will join the Formula One race calendar in 2020. It will be the fourth street race on the schedule and the fourth race to take place in eastern Asia.Vietnam will join the Formula One calendar with a street race in the capital city Hanoi, organizers announced on Wednesday.

"We are delighted to announce that Hanoi will host a Formula One Grand Prix," the sport's chairman Chase Carey said in a statement.

The Vietnamese Grand Prix is the first new race Formula One has announced since Liberty Media's takeover last year. The Hanoi round of the championship, which will be run on a 5.6-kilometer (3.5-mile) circuit, will be the fourth street race on the calendar along with Monaco, Singapore and Azerbaijan.

"Since we became involved in this sport in 2017, we have talked about developing new destination cities to broaden the appeal of Formula 1 and the Vietnamese Grand Prix is a realization of that ambition," F1 chairman Chase Carey said in a statement.

"We are thrilled to be here in Hanoi, one of the most exciting cities in the world right now with such a rich history and an incredible future ahead of it."

The inaugural race will be staged in April 2020, with the organizers signing a multi-year deal to become the fourth East Asian country on the calendar with Singapore, China and Japan.

jt/dv (AP, Reuters)

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Champions League: Bayern Munich seek pre-BVB morale boost Tue, 06 Nov 2018 18:04:00 +0000 The post Champions League: Bayern Munich seek pre-BVB morale boost appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

A sputtering Bayern Munich go into their fourth Champions League group-stage match hoping to send a message to Borussia Dortmund. Hoffenheim, meanwhile, need a win to maintain any realistic chance of progressing.It hasn't been an easy start to the season for Bayern Munich head coach Nico Kovac, who moved from Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer to replace the retiring Jupp Heynckes. Sitting third in the Bundesliga standings 10 games into the season is unfamiliar territory for the serial domestic champions, and league leaders Dortmund await them on Saturday evening. Things haven't all gone Kovac's way in Europe either, particularly when they struggled to a 1-1 draw at home to a much less experienced Ajax side.

Still, in second but tied on points with Ajax at the top of Group E, Bayern could clinch qualification for the last 16 with a win on Wednesday — if Benfica also win at home to Ajax.

Given their comparatively sluggish start to the season, including a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Freiburg on the weekend, Bayern will be out not just to beat AEK on Wednesday, but to also send a message.

"We can't say how many goals there will be or what the result will be, but we want to deliver an exciting performance," Thomas Müller said.

Read more: Bundesliga Bulletin: Bayern Munich slip, Frankfurt and RB Leipzig extend runs

Momentum crucial ahead of Dortmund game

If history is any indication, Bayern could break out and score a few against AEK. In each of the last five seasons, Bayern have won at least one of the two group-stage games against teams that came from pot 4 in the Champions League draw by three goals or more.

At Tuesday's press conference, Kovac agreed that his team needed to win a game by "three or four" goals to really get going, but at the same time, he didn't expect this game to come on Tuesday.

"I expect tomorrow to be as difficult as in Athens," he said, referring to Bayern's 2-0 win in the Greek capital last month.

While there has been a lot of talk about a growing rift between Bayern's veterans and the coach in recent weeks, Kovac insisted that all was well in the camp.

"The atmosphere is good, and we are confident," the coach said.

A comfy win against AEK would be a boost to Bayern's dressing room, especially days ahead of the eagerly-anticipated clash against undefeated league leaders Borussia Dortmund.

In terms of his line-up, Kovac will have to do without the injured Thiago Alcantara and Corentin Tolisso, who are both out for a while. James Rodriguez is a doubt (with a calf problem) and Arjen Robben will not recover from a knock to his knee in time for Tuesday's contest.

Hoffenheim need a result in Lyon

Julian Nagelsmann's side are rock bottom of Group F ahead of a tricky trip across the French border to face Olympique Lyon.

The two sides shared the points in a 3-3 thriller in Sinsheim last month. "We know that we must win on Wednesday, that's how we're approaching the game," Nagelsmann said. "We could mix up the line-up a little; we have plenty of personnel up front."

Read more: Nagelsmann faces biggest challenge of career

Winless in the group stage so far, Hoffenheim could put themselves back in striking distance with three points on Wednesday, especially if group leaders Manchester City do them a favor and dispatch Shakhtar Donetsk at home. Lose, though, and any chances of a berth in the last 16 look lost.

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Champions League: Unbeaten Dortmund eye group-stage double over Atletico Mon, 05 Nov 2018 15:41:00 +0000 The post Champions League: Unbeaten Dortmund eye group-stage double over Atletico appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Borussia Dortmund have their sights set on preserving their perfect Champions League record when they take on Atletico Madrid. A point would be enough for BVB to book their place in the last 16 with two games to spare.Lucien Favre's charges made a statement by handing Atletico their biggest defeat in Diego Simeone's near seven-year reign as head coach to move onto three wins from three in Group A. Last month's 4-0 victory at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK stands as the crown jewel in BVB's club-record 15-game unbeaten streak in all compeitions since the Swiss took over at the helm in the summer.

Read more: Hakimi display evidence of BVB's strength in numbers

On Tuesday, a fourth straight victory in Europe would clinch top spot in Group A for the new-and-improved side, while a draw would be enough for them to secure their place in the last 16 with two games to spare.

Favre isn't getting ahead of himself though.

"With the exception of the game against Nuremberg all the games went back and forth, all of them were tough. All we can do is concentrate on our next game which is against Atletico Madrid," the coach said after Saturday's 3-1 win over Wolfsburg.

"I wasn't aware of the record. Of course I'm happy with that. The important thing is that we keep working on our own development. We've had a lot of players play nearly every game, but all of them can still improve, even in small increments. We've still got a few things to improve, technically and tactically."

Delaney thriving at Dortmund

While they are wary of a potential Atletico backlash, Dortmund's 15-game unbeaten streak is cause for confidence heading into their toughest game of the group stage. "We're determined to keep our streak going," said Axel Witselfollowing the Wolfsburg match.

The Belgian international has forged a formidable midfield partnership with fellow summer signing Thomas Delaney, who was signed as an "aggressive leader" in light of Dortmund's struggles last season.

"[Sporting director] Michael Zorc made it clear from our very first talks how important it [mental fortitude] was for him," the Danish international told German football publication kicker. "The topic was bubbling on the surface from Day 1: It was about getting rid of the negative feelings from last season. Now we've gone 15 games unbeaten and things are looking good."

Griezmann not sleeping on the Bundesliga

Tuesday's visitors, meanwhile, are suffering a mini-identy crisis. Atletico are cast in Simeone's image and, while they haven't always been easy on the eye during his tenure, their backline has been the hardest to breach in Europe – which is why the defeat to Dortmund raised so many eyebrows.

"We spoke among ourselves after the Dortmund defeat and I was convinced the players would respond the right way," said Simeone, who has since seen his side pick up two wins and a draw in all competitions.

Goal scoring has been an issue for Antoine Griezmann and Co. and, according to the World Cup winner, they're once again taking Dortmund seriously.

"The Bundesliga is a very attractive, attack-friendly league, which boasts a lot of goals as we experienced against Dortmund," Griezmann told kicker.

Motivated by the prospect of a final on home turf at the Wanda Metropolitano in June, this could still be Atletico's year. Dropping points against Dortmund for a second time though, would cast serious doubt over their title credentials.

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Opinion: German ice hockey coach Marco Sturm leaves behind big skates to fill Mon, 05 Nov 2018 13:48:00 +0000 The post Opinion: German ice hockey coach Marco Sturm leaves behind big skates to fill appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Marco Sturm has reinvigorated German ice hockey, topping it all off by winning a silver medal in Pyeongchang. The DEB is right to let him pursue his NHL dreams, but it now faces a crucial decision, writes Chuck Penfold.Ever since he took over as head coach and general manager of Germany's national ice hockey team in 2015, Marco Sturm, who played over 1,000 games in the National Hockey League (NHL), has never made a secret of his ultimate goal – to one day coach in the sport's top professional league. So when the news came out on Sunday evening that he had accepted a job as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings, the only surprise was the timing.

Given the fact that his contract with the DEB (German Ice Hockey Association) ran until 2022, many would have expected him to stay with the national team for at least a couple of more years. But NHL coaching jobs are scarce, and Sturm must have known that breaking into the sport's top league in a vocation that remains dominated by Canadians and Americans would probably mean taking on a role as an assistant – as a first step. So when the Los Angeles Kings came calling, for Sturm, it was a no-brainer.

It was also right for the DEB to let him out of his contract to do so. Trying to force a wantaway employee to fulfill a contract seldom works out well. And it's difficult to imagine how Sturm would ever be able to top leading Germany to a silver medal in Pyeongchang, the country's best finish in an Olympic tournament. So it's a logical progression for Sturm to become just the second German to coach in the NHL, after Canadian-born Ralph Krueger's single season with the Edmonton Oilers in 2012-13.

For the national team, after next weekend's Deutschland Cup, Sturm's last tournament in charge, the focus will shift to who will take over the posts that he is set to vacate – a crucial but by no means easy decision for President Franz Reindl and the rest of the DEB's top brass.

Coaching crucial

Germany's national ice hockey team has proved over the past couple of decades that its performances on the ice are extremely dependent upon who is behind the bench. With the right man in charge, Germany have proved more than capable of punching above their weight. But during the dark days between Uwe Krupp leaving and Sturm taking over (2011-2015) Germany also showed that with the wrong man behind the bench, things can go pear-shaped in a hurry – with the lowlight being a 12-4 drubbing by Norway at the 2012 World Championship.

Although his tenure wasn't perfect, as demonstrated by Germany's performance at this year's World Championship, Appointing Sturm was not only one of the first, but also one of the best moves Franz Reindl made after he was elected DEB president in 2014. With German hockey set to embark on the post-Sturm era, Reindl knows just how crucial it is for him to find the right successor, which is why he has already said that the DEB won't be rushed into a quick decision. Reindl is not to be envied. In 2014 Sturm ticked almost all of the boxes as a candidate to take over the national team. This time, not only is the choice not nearly as obvious, but Sturm leaves some big skates to fill.

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Simone Biles wins record 13th world championship Fri, 02 Nov 2018 16:35:00 +0000 The post Simone Biles wins record 13th world championship appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Simone Biles has become the first gymnast to win 13 world titles. The American 21-year-old set a new record as she won vault gold at the World Championships in Qatar and could take home another three golds.Superstar Simone Biles became the first ever gymnast to win 13 world championship gold medals with victory in the individual vault competition in Qatar on Friday.

The 21-year-old American broke the all-time record set by Belarusian male gymnast Vitaly Scherbo in 1996, a year before Biles was born.

It was Biles' third gold medal of the week so far in Doha and she is halfway to a possible sweep of six gold medals at these championships.

This was also her 17th world championship medal overall, which means she is just three shy of the all-time record of 20, held by Russia's Svetlana Khorkina.

Favorite to take gold in the event, she received a mark of 15.366, well ahead of second-placed Shallon Olsen from Canada, who finished on 14.516. Bronze went to Mexico's Alexa Moreno, with 43-year-old Oksana Chusovitina in fourth.

Biles has another chance of a gold medal later on Friday in the uneven bars event.

mds/pfd (AFP, AP)

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Egypt faces Palestine in Arab Volleyball Championship Thu, 01 Nov 2018 11:00:04 +0000 Egypt will clash with Palestine on Thursday evening in the Arab Volleyball Championship hosted by Egypt at the Cairo Stadium.

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The Egyptian national team’s squad will include Ahmed Fathi; Mohamed Gabal; Abdul Rahman Hussein; Sherif Ahmed Saeed; Hisham Yousri; Rashad Shebl; Mohamed Salama Masoud; Ahmed Mohamed Abdel Aal; Hossam Youssef Abdullah; Omar Naguib; Ahmed Saied Shafek and Moustafa Mohamed Abdul Rahman.

The tournament kicked off on Saturday and the opening ceremony was attended by the Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy, Head of the Egyptian Volleyball Federation (EVF) Khaled Nasif Salim, Head of the African Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Amr Elwany, and Deputy Head of the Arab Volleyball Association (AVA).

In the group stage, Egypt won the first and second leg matches against Jordan 3-0 each, and beat Algeria 3-1 in the first leg match.

Also, on Thursday, Iraq will face Bahrain, while Jordan will face Algeria. This tournament is held in a single round, where each team plays six matches, and the team with the highest score will win the title.

The main players of the national team refused to participate in the Arab championship which forced the EVF to resort to alternative players. However, Egypt still has the biggest chance to win the Arab championship title.

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Egyptian karate stars eye sport’s Olympic debut in Madrid’s WKF World Championship Thu, 01 Nov 2018 10:30:41 +0000 Madrid's world championship is a crucial one for ranking points for Olympic qualification. Karate will make its debut appearance at the Summer Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.

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The Egyptian national Karate team is preparing to participate in the 24th World Karate Federation (WKF) World Championship to be held between 6 and 11 November in Madrid, Spain.

The Egyptian mission will include Yasmin Attia; Radwa Sayed; Fareal Abdel Aziz; Giana Farouk; Sarah Assem; Ali Al-Sawy; Ahmad Al-Asfar; Mohamed Al-Kutby; Ahmed Al-Masry; Malik Salama; Omar Hegazy; Ahmad Ashraf; Taha Tarek, and Abdullah Al-Kutby.

Madrid’s world championship is a crucial one for ranking points for Olympic qualification. Karate will make its debut appearance at the Summer Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Olympic karate will feature two events, Kumite and Kata. Sixty competitors from around the world will compete in the Kumite competition, and twenty will compete in the Kata competition.

Egypt holds high hopes on a number of players, most notably Giana Farouk who clinched a gold medal at the 2016 Karate World Championships in Austria, and Sara Assem who became the first Egyptian, Arab, and African player to win silver medal at the Women’s Karate Kata Championship.

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Presentation won Al Ahly sponsorship after difficult negotiations, new Zamalek contract worth EGP 450m: Wahby Thu, 01 Nov 2018 10:00:29 +0000 Egyptian league broadcast worth EGP 500m

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Amr Wahby, the director of Presentation Sport, the exclusive sponsor of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) and the league, talked about sponsoring Al Ahly, Zamalek contract, and the company’s journey in the football sponsorship in Egypt, during an interview with Daily News Egypt, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

How did Presentation win after the dispute between Sela and Al Ahly?

In fact, they were very difficult negotiations. We had to offer over EGP 500m. Hours before the contract’s announcement at the press conference, Al Ahly did not reply to the offer we presented. This is a great breakthrough for us and for Al Ahly as well. I Hope the quality of service we provide will be adequate for both parties.

What about your contract with Zamalek?

Zamalek’s previous contract with the company was for EGP 86m for our years in 2014. As the club gained the league and the cup, they hiked it to EGP 140m. The current contract could reach EGP 450m if the team wins all championships.

But the club announced the termination of the contract with you. What is your comment?

No comment. We have offered much to the club, and have we were very attached to it. It is an honour for us to be sponsors of the two largest clubs in Egypt. We carefully study any deals away from emotions.

Do you see a gap between Al Ahly and Zamalek’s sponsorship contracts?

There is no gap between both teams in terms of the worth of contracts which could almost be double. Zamalek is not doing itself favours in terms of marketing, due to lack of long-term stability and the presence of appointed boards, unlike Al Ahly, which was chaired by Hassan Hamdy.

How many clubs do you sponsor?

The company owns the exclusive rights to television broadcasts of all the Premier League clubs. And in terms of commercial rights, we owns those of 14 clubs, and 50% of Wadi Degla’s, which preferred to keep half the rights to market its products. Only Al Ahly, Pyramids, and Gouna did not contract with us. We also have the commercial rights of the EFA.

How do you evaluate clubs to determine the amount of responsibility?

The way we evaluate clubs in terms of the value of their commercial and broadcast rights depends on the points system, through the popularity and history in the Egyptian league since 1948, its achievements, and ranking in the past five years. The points are then converted into financial transactions. Out assessment is always correct. We work on promoting clubs by offering incentives for their achievements.

Amr Wahby, the director of Presentation Sport

How much do you think the Egyptian league is worth?

The Egyptian league championship, in terms of television broadcasts in the current season, is estimated at about EGP 500m. This could double if six things happen: fans return to stadiums, raising the efficiency of stadiums, improving television broadcast rights, improving the performance of referees, imposing strict regulations, and announcing dates of matches earlier. These could all have a major impact.

Do you have specific plans for that?

We established Estadat-Stadiums to raise the efficiency of pitches, and improve them to match the value of the Egyptian league. The same goes for Live, which we aim to use to reach the best means of television broadcasts, and provide HD quality for viewers.

What are the damages caused by Sela terminating the broadcast television contract with you?

The termination of the contract caused a crisis, given the contract’s high value, after which the cost of broadcasting games hiked, along with sponsorship contracts, which caused huge losses. We are now trying to offset this by looking for alternative funding resources to avoid pressuring clubs.

What is the secret of not having a strong competitor?

We entered at the right time and managed to win the confidence of the clubs in terms of dealing with credibility. We had a vision and entered seriously at a time when others were worried about this, which enabled us to gain the confidence of these clubs.

How much is your investment in Egyptian football?

The company, with its launch in 2013, was aiming to reach EGP 1.2bn in 2018. We went even further with EGP 250m.

Is it possible to set up a network of subscription channels?

No, it is not possible that the company establishes a network of subscription channels to broadcast the league games, because of the high costs. I am surprised that some ignore the establishment cost of subscription-based platforms. We are a commercial rights company and we sell and broadcast.

And what about buying the rights to broadcast major tournaments?

With regard to the purchase of the rights of major tournaments such as the World Cup and the CAF tournament, they also require huge funds and investors that trust the company. More importantly, there are rights up for sale. The African Nations tournament was sold until 2028 and the World Cup until 2026.

Can you buy or establish a club?

The company cannot think of buying or establishing clubs unless it changes the activity, so that there is no conflict of interest which is not legally or morally permissible.

What is the positive impact of football on the sponsors?

Football’s positive influence on the sponsors is tangible through SAIB Bank, which was present since 1976. The bank’s ranking was 24th before signing the contract with Zamalek. Now the bank has managed to become the 6th top bank.

Do you face any difficulties with sponsors?

The difficulties in marketing sponsors are with the clubs of associated with institutions and companies, not popular clubs. We want to distribute sponsorships across clubs so that everyone can get a good financial return.

What do you think of the new sports law?

The new sports law will not affect the sports movement. It is for the benefit only for the concerned bodies, but it is not in favour of sports in terms of investment.

Can you tell us about the company’s start?

In 2013, I presented the matter to Mohamed Kamel, who is now the company’s CEO. It was then specialised in outdoor marketing. We seized the commercial and broadcast rights for six clubs. Out first deal was worth EGP 4m with Al Ittihad Alexandria Club, then Ismaili, ENPPI, and Petrojet. We aimed to contract with 16 clubs, which we failed to achieve in the first season. Then, we contracted with MBC in the following season for $15m. The number of clubs reached 13, including Zamalek.

You faced a major crisis following MBC’s withdrawal from broadcasting the league in 2015. How did you overcome this?

The biggest crisis we have experienced after the Air Defence Stadiums incident was the termination of the MBC contract. We received support from the SAIB Bank. The clubs supported us by waiting for their dues. The broadcasting of the league on Nile Sport only was one of the solutions, even though we were paying EGP 64m for broadcasting rights. Yet, we concluded the season and paid all the clubs’ rights.

Did things settle down after that?

In the following seasons it stabilised with the entry of ON channel and their purchase of the rights to broadcast the games for EGP 250m for two seasons. The contract was then renewed for EGP 320m. The current season is one of the rights, on which basis the partnership with Al-masryeen media was signed.

You have substantial experience in the EFA. Tell us about this?

I was a former football player in Zamalek and the Egyptian National Team. I suffered an injury and travelled to England to play in a third-class club. There, I looked at football differently. I gained some experience. When I came back to Cairo, I met with Ahmed Shobeir, through whom I entered the EFA with several marketing ideas.

What are your most important contributions?

I contributed in 1998 with the first prospectus to be put in the association to sell the rights. I started officially working in 2000. My most prominent contribution was the proposal to play the Super Game in 2001. The association’s rights increased to EGP 4m in 1998. After adding some products, such as friendly games, the value increased to EGP 16m in the 2002-2006 contract, then to EGP 32m in 2006-2010. Following that, came the contract, which was not finalised, with Promo Ad, worth EGP 52.25m. Afterwards I left the association in 2013.

That was in terms of commercial rights but what about broadcast rights?

I contributed a project similar to Presentation to the association. It was listed in the council of Samir Zaher’s electoral programme in 2008. At the time, I was in charge of this programme, but the clubs did not all agree on collective selling, which caused the programme to fail. When the broadcasting rights of Al Ahly, Zamalek, and Ismailiy were sold for EGP 1m to ART, OSN, and Dream in 2006, the collective selling happened. Then the sale took place for EGP 3m to Modern, Dream, and AlHayah. We then reached an idea for collective selling. We had a problem in convincing the administrations of Al Ahly and Zamalek. The biggest problem was the instability of Zamalek. Eventually, we formed a seven-party committee, which was the core of the clubs’ committees in 2009. We hit the bylaws at the time, as the EFA was selling for the benefit of the clubs to match the bylaws. I managed to bring in an offer from EMG for EGP 180m in 2010 when Anas ElFeky was Minister of Media and aborted this decision to support private channels. The games were broadcasted on nine channels, which devaluated the product. The league was sold to all of them for EGP 100m. Clubs agreed on commercial and broadcast rights’ marketing through a company to be established when Hassan Sakr was the Minister of Sports. The decision was aborted through officials in the association who believed it was better for them to keep the situation as it was. When Taher Abou Zeid took over the Ministry of Sports, Hassan Hamdy left the committee. I was thanked in 2013.

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5 Egyptian weightlifters compete in 2018 IWF World Championships in Turkmenistan Thu, 01 Nov 2018 09:30:47 +0000 This tournament will witness the return of great weightlifters and the countries that were suspended in previous competitions.

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The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championship will kick off Thursday in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, and will continue until 10 November.

This tournament will witness the return of great weightlifters and the countries that were suspended in previous competitions.

Egypt will participate in the tournament with five players, including Sara Samir in the women’s 71kg weight class; Shaimaa Khalaf in the +87 kg weight class; Moustafa Wahid in the 73 kg weight clas;, Mohamed Ehab in the 81 kg weight class, and Ahmed Ashour in the 89 kg weight class.

The Egyptian national team will enter this competition under the leadership of coach Mohamed Mousa al-Deeb, and will be assisted by Mohamed Hosny. The Egyptian mission will be headed by Moustafa Al-Lozy, member of the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation’s board of directors.

The Egyptian team aims to achieve good results in this competition, especially as it is one of the world championships qualifying for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Egypt won six medals in the 2017 IWF World Championship held in the US, including four golds, one silver, and one bronze.

In the US, Mohamed Ehab, winner of a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, won three gold medals. He lifted 165kg in the snatch and 196kg in the clean and jerk to achieve a total of 361kg. He won two medals for the snatch and clean and jerk contests and one for the overall result. Also, Sara Samir won the 69 kg clean and jerk gold medal, while Shaimaa Khalaf won silver and bronze in the +90 kg weight class.

Samir was the first Egyptian woman to win an Olympic medal in the country’s 104-year history at the game.

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Gianni Infantino concerned about FIFA hack Wed, 31 Oct 2018 14:01:00 +0000 The post Gianni Infantino concerned about FIFA hack appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The FIFA boss has expressed concern about potentially damaging media reports after the world football’s governing body was reportedly targeted by hackers. Confidential information could be published as early as Friday.According to FIFA, the organization has been confronted by questions referring to and containing internal information, hence Infantino's concern.

"My job involves discussions and the exchange of documents, drafts and ideas on many, many, many, many different topics," the 48-year-old told AP. "We have responded to the questions we have received, but if I just remain in my room and don't speak to anybody, how can I do my job properly?"

The hack, which, according to the New York Times, is not connected to the cyber attacks by Russian secret service agents on global sports organizations including FIFA and the International Olympic Committee last year, has resulted in confidential documents being passed on to German magazine Der Spiegel and the European Investigative Collaboration (EIC) research network – the team behind the so-called "Football Leaks" revelations.

Der Spiegel confirmed to DPA that the EIC had sent questions to FIFA but would not be drawn on when or whether further publications would be made. The New York Times, on the other hand, says documents could enter the public domain as early as Friday, leading FIFA to release a statement condemning "all attempts to compromise the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data in any organization by unlawful means."

FIFA, whose computers at its Zurich headquarters were the subject of the attack, has not commented on the scale of the breach, but said it was "concerned that some information was obtained illegally."

Infantino and other FIFA bosses are currently attending the congress of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in Kuala Lumpur where Infantino has spoken out in favor of increasing the number of participating teams in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from 32 to 48. "If it's possible, why not?" he told the congress.

Since September 2015, Football Leaks have been publishing confidential information regarding the tax affairs of several top footballers, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The source, allegedly based in Portugal, has since passed on huge volumes of information to Der Spiegel and other media organizations.

mf/jcg (SID/DPA)

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German Cup: Borussia Dortmund welcome Union Berlin again, Schalke face Cologne Wed, 31 Oct 2018 08:03:00 +0000 The post German Cup: Borussia Dortmund welcome Union Berlin again, Schalke face Cologne appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The only unbeaten sides in professional German football meet in the second round of the cup as Borussia Dortmund host second-division Union Berlin. Elsewhere, Schalke travel to Cologne while RB Leipzig host Hoffenheim.On 26 October 2016, over 12,000 Union Berlin supporters traveled west to see their second-division team take Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund to penalties in the second round of the cup.

Two years on, the red-clad hordes will be back in the Ruhrgebiet – but their numbers have shrunk to around 8,000. Unlike in 2016, tickets for the away end will still be available outside the Westfalenstadion tomorrow.

The novelty may have worn off for some but the earlier, 18:30 CET kickoff time 500 kilometers (311 miles) from home is also a factor. A request from Dortmund police that fans arrive as early as possible was met with considerable disdain from fans on social media.

Still, Union's form isn't particularly inspiring either. The "Irons" might be third in Bundesliga 2 but they missed the chance to go top on Sunday after a goalless draw against 10-man Dynamo Dresden.

That result followed another 0-0 away at Paderborn, which came on the back of a 1-1 draw with Heidenheim, a game notable for goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz's last-minute equalizer. In fact, it's now been a month since an outfield player scored for the Berliners.

"In the second half, I felt like we were scared of scoring," said coach Urs Fischer at fulltime against Dresden. "If we play like that in Dortmund, it could be dangerous – for us."

Dortmund favorites

Dortmund suffered a setback of their own against Hertha Berlin on Saturday but, Salomon Kalou's late penalty aside, the Black and Yellows have been in scintillating form of late, racking up 39 goals in all competitions so far this season. On Wednesday, the best attack in the Bundesliga faces the best defense in Bundesliga 2.

"We know that cup games are never easy," BVB coach Lucien Favre told a press conference on Tuesday, referring to his team's double late-show against Greuther Fürth in Round 1. "Union are compact and very well organized."

After a sensational start to his BVB loan spell, Paco Alcacer has missed the last two games with a thigh injury but was back in training this week. Favre wouldn't be drawn on whether the Spanish striker would be fit to start.

"There will probably be a few changes, but even that's not certain," said the Swiss coach.

Cologne vs. Schalke

This was a regular Bundesliga fixture in recent years but this season it's another cup clash between the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. Having finished second last term, Schalke have only won four games so far this season – including a 2-0 win over fourth-tier Schweinfurt in the last round.

Like Union in Dortmund, the Royal Blues travel to Cologne on the back of two consecutive goalless draws against Galatasaray and RB Leipzig, and significant doubts remain over the team's forward line.

No Bundesliga team has scored less and Domenico Tedesco has had his players firing at will from outside the box in training.

"You have periods where no coach in the world can help," said sporting director Christian Heidel in Leipzig. "We all know that the goal is 7.32 meters wide!"

Bundesliga 2 leaders Cologne have had their own goal-scoring problems of late, and frustrations have boiled over after defeat to Duisburg and draws against Kiel and Heidenheim.

"They have every right to express their disappointment," said coach Markus Anfang, referring to whistles from the fans, but he hopes that the cup clash will prove a welcome distraction.

"Schalke are Bundesliga runners-up and Champions League participants," he said. "We want to return to the Bundesliga so we're looking forward to testing ourselves against a top-division side."

Elsewhere in Round 2:

RB Leipzig vs. Hoffenheim
Ralf Rangnick and Julian Nagelsmann have already met once since the confirmation that the latter would be joining the former at the Red Bull Arena next summer, RB Leipzig running out 2-1 winners away at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. One will crash out of the cup when the two meet in Leipzig on Wednesday.

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Two of the most attacking teams in Germany meet for another all-Bundesliga clash, but the two Rhineland clubs have had wildly different fortunes this season. While Dieter Hecking's Foals sit third in the table, Heiko Herrlich's Werkself have endured a difficult start – although they go into this cup meeting with more confidence following Sunday's 6-2 hammering of Werder Bremen.

Hansa Rostock vs. Nuremberg
After disposing of Stuttgart in Round 1, can the third-division side spring another surprise against Nuremberg, who have suffered some heavy defeats on the road this season?

Weiche Flensburg vs. Werder Bremen
Werder look to bounce back from their defeat to Leverkusen as they travel north to fourth-tier Flensburg.

Holstein Kiel vs. Freiburg
One of the longest trips in German football – over 800 kilometers separate Kiel on the Baltic coast from Freiburg on the Swiss border.

Bielefeld vs. Duisburg
Duisburg face a much shorter trip as they travel across the Ruhrgebiet to Bundesliga 2 rivals Bielefeld.

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Professional rock climber Adam Ondra: 'The harder it is, the more fun it is' Tue, 30 Oct 2018 12:43:00 +0000 The post Professional rock climber Adam Ondra: 'The harder it is, the more fun it is' appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Adam Ondra is regarded as the world’s best professional climber. The 25-year-old Czech spoke to DW about what drives him, the world’s most difficult climb, and his aspirations for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.DW: Adam Ondra, you have been climbing since you were a small child. Could you imagine yourself ever getting tired of it?

Adam Ondra: I think this very moment would be one when I am tired but not of climbing. It's definitely necessary to recharge the batteries sometimes. But I think this has nothing to do with climbing. Climbing is great, and I don't think I'll ever tire of it, because there are so many different disciplines. Climbing a two-meter (6'6") boulder is completely different from a 1,000-meter wall. And by switching these disciplines, I can always keep my motivation very high.

What do you do to relax and get your mind off climbing?

Every December I take two or three weeks off. After an entire season of training and climbing, my body needs the break. And mentally, changing between the climbing gym and rock climbing, from competition to climbing outdoors all this helps me to be 100-percent motivated all of the time.

Does one have to be a little crazy to climb such amazing routes as you do?

What really motivates me to climb harder and harder is not necessarily that I want to push my limits or show who's best, but climbing harder and harder routes makes it more fun. The harder routes you climb, the more interesting the climbing gets and the more crazy moves you are forced to figure out. And once you know how it feels to climb a certain grade you don't really want to go back.

You have a climbed the world's first route in the French grade 9c (grade 12 according to the scale of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Association) in a cave near Flatander in Norway. A first you called it "Hard Project," put when you finished it, you renamed it "Silence." Why was that?

Normally when I reach the end of a super hard route I just scream for joy. But in that moment the emotions were so strong that I couldn't say anything, so it was one minute of silence.

What was the reason for that?

I don't know. Maybe I just didn't realize that it had finally happened. If you you've worked on a single project for 14 weeks and trained specifically for it for like two seasons; when it finally comes together, this is what happens.

What is the special challenge of that route?

It's the route that took me the most time ever. I've done most of the 9b+ routes in the world and I consider it to be a route that really fits my style. And that's why I had the courage to say: This is the world's first 9c. If I wasn't really sure about it, I would have stepped back and called it 9b+. But if it's ever been downgraded, it will be totally embarrassing for me. (laughs).

You also take part in climbing competitions. You took second place in the Combined Olympic Format at the World Championships in Innsbruck last September. Are the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 a goal for you?

Yes, definitely. The next big goal is the Olympics. Next year I am going to do both World Cups in Boulder and Lead and take it as a preparation for the 2020 season when the Olympics will be the biggest goal.

I remember that you were one of the critics of the Olympic format – the combination of speed climbing, lead and bouldering – when it was decided that sport climbing would become an Olympic discipline for the first time in Tokyo. Have you changed your mind?

That I'm still against the format, doesn't change anything. I always wanted to go for the Olympics, no matter how critical I am about the format. And I remain critical. But I have to accept it if I want to compete in the Olympics. That's the format, the only other option is not to take part.

You're still only 25, but a day will come when you begin to lose your physical strength. Have you thought about what you will do after your climbing days are done?

I'm sure that I will continue to be involved in sport climbing for as long as I can. I am sure that I can push my sport climbing level until I am 35. But after that it probably won't be possible. At the same time I am very interested in trying to bring everything I've learned to the bigger walls, not necessarily climbing eight-thousanders but six-thousanders where the main difficulty is really rock climbing with bare hands and climbing shoes. That's something that appeals to me for the more distant future.

So you're not afraid of the cold you'd have to withstand on six- or seven-thousanders?

For sure. But that's part of the game, a little bit of adventure to make the climbing more interesting.

Adam Ondra is regarded as the world's best climber. At the age of 13, the native of Brno in the Czech Republic climbed a route with a degree of difficulty of 9a on the French scale, which in the rating of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Association (UIAA), corresponds to a route of the 11th degree. In 2017, Ondra mastered an extremely overhanging route in a cave in Norway – the world's first 9c. In competition climbing, the 25-year-old has won three World Championship titles and three overall World Cup victories in lead climbing and bouldering.

The interview was conducted by Stefan Nestler.

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Zamalek crowned African Handball Champions Mon, 29 Oct 2018 16:17:57 +0000 Zamalek's BoD promised financial awards for players, president to hold large concert for team

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Cairo’s giant Zamalek SC were crowned Champions of Africa for the 11th time after defeating rivals Al Ahly SC 27-25 in the 2018 African Handball Champions League Final held in Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday.

Zamalek was placed in Group B, where they defeated the Moroccan Raja d’Agadir, the Algerian GS Petroliers (GSP), and the Congolese Jeunesse Sportive de Kinshasa (JSK). The White Knights beat the Ivory Coast’s Red Star OJA in the quarter-finals, and then overcame the JSK in the semi-finals.

Zamalek now has 11 African Champions League titles similar to the Mouloudia Club d’Alger, in addition to winning the the African Cup Winners Cup five times, and the African Handball Super Cup five times.

Al Ahly and Zamalek are set to meet again in the African Super Cup in April, where the winner will represent Egypt in the International Handball Federation’s (IHF) Super Globe that is set to take place in Qatar.

2018 IHF Super Globe is the eleventh edition of the competition, nine of them hosted by Doha and the other two hosted by Cairo and Vienna.

Zamalek’s board of directors promised substantial financial awards for the players after returning to Cairo from Côte d’Ivoire. The club’s president also assured the players of holding a large concert to honour the African champions.

Led by Coach Bassem Al-Sabki, Zamalek’s squad that took part in the tournament from 19 to 28 October included Ahmed Al-Ahmar; Mohamed Ramadan; Mohamed Ali; Sam Sami; Ali Hisham; Karim Ayman; Mohamed Mohsen; Mohamed Yehia; Hisham Bassem Al-Sabki; Mohamed Alaa Luka; Mostafa Tamer; Akram Yousri; Mostafa El Sayed; Yehia Khaled; Hisham Shedid; Hazem Mamdouh; Hassan Ahmed; Khalid Walid and Mahmoud Helil.

The Zamalek delegation, headed by Hani Zadeh, will arrive in Cairo on Tuesday, as representatives of the Zamalek’s board of directors, and hundreds of fans will receive them at the airport.

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Boston Red Sox win Game 5 to clinch World Series Mon, 29 Oct 2018 10:02:00 +0000 The post Boston Red Sox win Game 5 to clinch World Series appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The Boston Red Sox have won the championship of Major League Baseball, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 to take the best-of-seven series four games to one. This is the club’s ninth World Series title.The Boston Red Sox dominated this year's World Series much as they had done their playoff series against the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros as well as the regular season, clinching the title with a 5-1 win in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

The Red Sox, who collected 108 victories in Major League Baseball's 162-game regular season, earned the final win on the back of solid starting pitching from David Price, who allowed just three hits before leaving the game in the eighth inning.

First baseman Steve Pearce, who was subsequently named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the World Series, led the Red Sox's offense, hitting two home runs in Game 5.

Pearce, 35, who had been acquired in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays in June, posted a .333 batting average and a 1.167 slugging percentage in the World Series. This included three home runs and a crucial three-run double in Saturday's win in Game 4.

"This is the greatest feeling of my life. When you're a kid, this is where you want to be. And it's happening right now," Pearce said afterwards. "I'm in a dream right now."

"Seeing all these grown men over there, just acting like kids, that's what it's all about," Price said. "This is why I came to Boston."

This was the Boston's' ninth World Series title and the fourth since 2004, when the Red Sox ended an 86-year championship drought.

Their first-year manager, Alex Cora, became just the fifth rookie manager to win a World Series and the first ever from Puerto Rico. Cora had already won a World Series ring as a bench coach with last year's champions, the Houston Astros.

pfd/dv (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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Bundesliga match marred by clashes between fans and police Sat, 27 Oct 2018 19:47:00 +0000 The post Bundesliga match marred by clashes between fans and police appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Pyrotechnics, flagpoles, batons and pepper spray: Saturday’s Bundesliga fixture between Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin was overshadowed by violent clashes between visiting supporters and police.Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin drew 2-2 at the Westfalenstadion on Saturday afternoon but events on the field were overshadowed by violent clashes involving visiting Hertha supporters and local police.

After Hertha ultras ignited pyrotechnics for the second time in the first half, police entered the area in front of the away section and attempted to confiscate a large banner underneath which fans had donned masks – a frequent practice by supporters who don't want to be identified using pyrotechnics, which are banned in German stadia.

Ahead of kick-off, the same banner had been used as part of an authorized choreography celebrating the 15-year anniversary of the Hertha ultra group "Hauptstadtmafia" (capital city mafia). That choreography also involved the prohibited use of pyrotechnics.

In response to the attempt to confiscate the banner – considered an extreme affront in ultra circles – the ultras attempted to drive the police out of the away end, attacking officers with flagpoles and at least one more flare. In the ensuing melee, police deployed batons and pepper spray against the fans.

According to an official statement from Dortmund police, toilets underneath the away end were heavily damaged at halftime before intervening police officers were again attacked with pieces of porcelain, toilet doors and a metal security fence.

Many injured

According to the same statement, a total of 45 people were injured during the clashes: 35 by the use of pepper spray and 10 as a result of physical violence. Ten further people are also reported to have been treated after inhaling smoke from the pyrotechnics. Of the injured police officers, all remain fit for duty, adds the statement.

As of 20:00 CET, police said that all suspects of wrongdoing had been comprehensively videoed and that they were preparing various charges including disturbance of the peace, resistance to police intervention and illegal use of explosives.

Hertha Berlin released a statement in which they explicitly condemned the use of pyrotechnics inside stadia. The club also called the violence used against the police "unacceptable" and promised to "take action to identify those responsible."

Hertha's sporting director Michael Preetz added: "This is a day which damages both football and our club. The pyro-orgy was followed by significant physical clashes. It leaves a bitter taste, and not just an aftertaste."

Fans criticize 'disproportionate' police intervention

Meanwhile however, supporter groups have criticized the actions of the police, saying the attempt to confiscate the flag led to an escalation of events.

"An ultra group's flags and other material are considered precious, not just in Berlin," explained fan culture portal Faszination Fankurve afterwards. "Police who attempt to confiscate such material ought to be aware that this can result in an escalation of the situation. An attack on a flag represents the biggest provocation possible."

Berlin-based fan lawyer René Lau tweeted that he had been contacted by Hertha Berlin fans who spoke of an "absolutely disproportionate use of pepper spray and batons" and claimed that injured fans were prevented from leaving the stadium.

Borussia Dortmund fanzine Schwatzgelb said "the police provoked clashes with Hertha fans by confiscating a banner as a result of two flares." Fanhilfe Dortmund, which provides legal aid to football supporters, encouraged Hertha supporters via Twitter to write down their recollections to aid their own investigation.

At the end of the game, police reported that the away supporters were accompanied away from the stadium without any further issues.

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