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Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Football fans’ expected return to stadiums is the talk of the town

The expected return of football fans to Egypt’s stadiums next month after a years-long hiatus was the talk of the town on the airwaves last night.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) is drafting a plan to gradually allow fans to attend football matches again without jeopardizing their safety, Sports Ministry Spokesman Mohamed Fawzy told Masaa DMC. According to Fawzy, the EFA and representatives from premier league clubs held a meeting yesterday to discuss the timeline, which will still require security authorities’ approval (watch, runtime: 6:44). The number of fans that will initially be allowed back into stadiums has yet to be determined, Fawzy said on Hona Al Asema (watch, runtime: 6:29).

The meeting came after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi gave the green light for the return of football fans, EFA member and former goalkeeper Magdy Abdel Ghany told Yahduth fi Masr’s Sherif Amer. Abdel Ghany also said that Interior Ministry officials sat in on yesterday’s meeting, suggesting that the plans will not face any resistance (watch, runtime: 5:15). Sports critic Ihab El Khatib phoned into Hona Al Asema to laud Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhy for seeing the issue through (watch, runtime: 5:29).

The rise in Egypt’s debt in 3Q2017-18 is a result of several loans the government took on to finance projects in different sectors, former Banque Misr deputy chairman Sahar El Damaty said on Yahduth fi Masr. She shrugged off concerns that Egypt will struggle to meet its debt obligations down the line, saying that the vast majority of the country’s debt is long-term facilities and FX revenues from the Suez Canal and tourism should be enough (watch, runtime: 5:37).

US-Egypt 2+2 meetings in the works? Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s visit to the US, which began yesterday, will lay the groundwork for an upcoming meeting between the Egypt and America’s foreign and defense ministers, political science professor Atef Abdel Gawad told Al Hayah fi Masr’s Kamal Mady (watch, runtime: 5:58).

Another day, another abomination against art: Restoration work is underway on a statue of Khedive Ismail in Ismailia, which was recently the victim of a botched paint job, according to National Organization for Urban Harmony (NOUH) head Mohamed Abu Saada. He urged local authorities to seek approval from NOUH before undertaking these little arts and crafts projects (watch, runtime: 7:15). Apparently, people haven’t learned to stop painting over statues since the Om Kalthoum statue snafu back in 2016.

Other miscellaneous tidbits on the airwaves last night: Real Estate Tax Authority Samia Hussein phoned into Masaa DMC to apologize for the long wait-times outside the authority’s offices over the past few days (watch, runtime: 7:51); Hona Al Asema’s Dina Zahraa discussed the anti-terrorism operations in Sinai with General Nagy Shahoud (watch, runtime: 25:01); economic expert Fakhry El Fekky and logistics professor Hamdy Barghout piled on the praise for the new Suez Canal (watch, runtime: 4:28).

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