World Cup Football Creates a Diplomatic Crisis
OK, so France wins on a bad call by a referee. And people in Ireland are mad. And the Irish Prime Minister even brought it up with French President Sarkozy at a recent EU meeting. But nothing quite captures the importance of soccer and the World Cup then riots, clashes, and the recall of ambassadors after Egypt defeated Algeria in a World Cup qualifier. Maybe it’s a good thing that Americans could care less about the World Cup.
Cairo, Egypt (CNN) — Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Egypt’s capital fought with police near the Algerian Embassy early Friday, the Interior Ministry said.
The clashes in Cairo stem from tensions over Algeria’s victory over Egypt in a World Cup qualifier soccer match and earlier fights between soccer fans in the North African countries.
The ministry said 39 security forces were wounded in the clashes, and cars and stores were damaged in Zamalek, an island in Cairo on the Nile River. At present, there is a strong security presence in the area with truckloads of riot police and more than 1,000 security forces.
Husam Zaki, a spokesman for Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, said Cairo has asked its envoy to return from Algeria “for consultations” after a week of tensions over qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup.