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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Egypt in the World Cup: Week 1 overview

Fuel subsidy cuts and a new cabinet took a back row seat to the World Cup in the foreign press’ coverage of Egypt. Between the rising cost of electricity and petrol, Egyptians are desperately counting on some reprieve during the World Cup, according to the Associated Press. Egypt’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Uruguay was largely blamed on the absence of the Egyptian team’s star player, Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian forward’s magic both on and off the pitch has managed to unite all of Egypt, an apparently impossible feat, according to this Salma Islam piece for the Guardian. The New York Times and Live Mint also paid tribute to the footballer, while the Chicago Tribune pointed out that goalkeeper Essam El Hadary’s era might be coming to an end, after Mohamed El Shenawy’s performance against Uruguay earned him “an outpouring of admiration.”

We can find solace in the fact that Egypt was voted the best tourist holiday destination among Group A competitors by the Telegraph’s Travel poll.

Are World Cup games being illegally broadcast in the region? NBCUniversal claims that a pirate streaming service in the MENA region that goes by BeoutQ has been stealing its broadcast, according to Bloomberg. The service, which is said to be backed by investors from the Middle East, Colombia, and Cuba, was also under fire before by Qatari sports network beIN, which holds exclusive rights to air the games in the Middle East. Meanwhile, VOA notes how cheap it is to buy a subscription to watch the World Cup in Egypt.

Barring World Cup coverage, the foreign press had a spotlight on the new Madbouly Cabinet. Most of the coverage, including in the Wall Street Journal (paywall) and Haaretz, particularly focused on the ministers of finance, defense and the interior as these changes reflect the priorities of the El Sisi administration going forward.

Arab News also took note of Fifi Abdou taking to the screen to defend the government’s latest decision to raise fuel and energy prices.

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