ABU DHABI - Following the UAE’s establishment in 1971, its sporting relations with Egypt have been getting stronger day by day. The first two coaches of the UAE National Football Team were Egyptians, Mohamed Shehta and Mimi Al Sherbiny, who managed the team from 1971 to 1974.
Their sporting relations are not limited to football but also include other sports, most notably handball, basketball, volleyball, athletics, karate, wrestling and boxing.
Over the past 48 years, the UAE has hosted Egyptian teams and clubs, which held training camps and friendly matches. The Al Ahly Club, the club with most local wins in Egypt, is currently holding a training camp in Dubai.
The sporting cooperation between the UAE and Egypt has many forms and extends to referees. International referees Jamal Al Ghandour and Essam Abdel Fattah took over the technical management of the UAE referees committee.
The UAE has also been keen to host the Egyptian Super Cup over the last five years and organise major games between Al Ahly and Zamalek, both in the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium and the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. The matches between Al Ahly and Al Jazira have highlighted the deep sporting relations between the two countries.
On 12th February, 2008, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, received the Egyptian National Football Team that won the African Cup. "Your African Cup victory is an achievement for all Arabs and Egyptian sports," Sheikh Mohammed said while honouring the Egyptian team.
On 8th June, 2015, the The General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare in the UAE signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports. On 30th December, 2017, a partnership agreement between the UAE and Egypt was signed in the capital, Abu Dhabi, to organise Arab championships and sporting events in the Middle East and North Africa in self-defence sports.
On 2nd August, 2019, the General Syndicate of Sports Professions in Egypt signed a sports cooperation protocol with the UAE, to raise the capacities of their team and individual sports and reinforce the cooperation between the two countries.
The sporting ties between the two countries also reached a milestone, with the organisation of the Zayed Al Khair Marathon in Egypt, which was held three times in Cairo, once in Ismailia Governorate, and once in Luxor city. Its sixth edition will be held in Suez in Egypt on 27th December, 2019.
Also, a sports programme on Abu Dhabi TV, known as "Cairo-Abu Dhabi" reflects the strong ties between the two countries.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2019.