If you are planning a visit to Egypt sometime soon, there is more to take in than just the pyramids! We are sure during your planning you have come up with all kinds of things to do and places to see that you don’t want to miss, but what about taking in a little sport? Here are some of the favorite sports of Egypt and a little language to help you when watching.
Yes, you’ve guessed it. Like so many places in the world, football is Egypt’s favorite sport. The Egyptian Premier League is the professional level of Egyptian football, with eighteen teams competing for the title. The league operates on a home and away system meaning each team takes on their opponents at their home stadium and that of their opposing team. Teams to look out for are the current champions, Al Ahly, and the runners up of the last season, Al Zamalek.
The Egyptian Second Division is the next league down if you want some lower league football to watch. Teams are divided into three groups, with each group home to sixteen teams. And if you want even more grassroots football then there are third and fourth leagues for you to watch as well. Turning to the national team, the Egyptian team was the first African country to join Fifa, though has only made it to the World Cup three times. But the team is far more successful in the African Cup of Nations where they have won seven times. In short, whatever level of competition you prefer, there is plenty of Egyptian football for you to watch!
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Here is a little vocabulary to help you when on those football terraces.
Player — لاعب — laaib
Attacker — هاجم — haajim
Defender — مدافع — mudaafi
Goalkeeper — حارس المرمى — haaris ul marmaa
Referee — حَكِم — hakim
Ball — كرة — kura
Team — فريق كرة القدم — fareequ kurratil qadm
Game — مباراة — mubaaraah
Goal — هدف — hadaf
Win — فوز — fawz
Lose — خسارة — khassarah
ُTie — تعادل — taaeadul
Offside — تسلل — tassallul
ٌFree kick — ركلة حرة, ضربة حرة — raklatun hurrah / darabatun hurrah
Penalty shot — ضربة الجزاء — darbat ul jazaa
Corner kick — ركلة ركنية, ضربة ركنية — raklatun rukniyah / darbatun rukniyah
Half time — شونصف الوقت — nsf alwaqt
ٌRed/Yellow card — بطاقة حمراء / بطاقة صفراء — bitaaqatun hamraa / bittaaqatun safraa
Historically, the Egyptian national basketball team has had some notable achievements, both in the Basketball World Cup and the Summer Olympics. The team regularly competes in the FIBA Africa Championship, African Games, and Pan Arab Games. Though it is at the AfroBasket championship that the national team really shines. Since 1972 the team has one a total of 16 medals. But the team has some work to do! Currently the Egyptian national team rank 52nd in the FIBA world rankings.
If you prefer professional basketball, Egypt has that for you too! The Egyptian Basketball Super League is the top-tier basketball league in the country, with current champions Al Zamalek the team to watch. The league is split into four groups, each of which have four teams. Teams compete through a number of stages before hitting the quarterfinals, games taking place between October and December each year.
If you’re planning on heading to a court to watch some Egyptian basketball, here are some words to help you out.
Basketball — كرة السلة — kuraẗu al-sallah
Basketball player — لاعب كرة السلة — lāʿib kuret el-sallah
Team — فريق — farīq
Team effort — مجهود الفريق — maǧhūdu al-farīq
Tournament — بطولة — buṭūlah
Pass — تمريرة — tamrīrah
Championship — بطولة — buṭūlah
Shot — تسديدة — tasdīdah
Basket — سلة — sallah
Seed — متصدر المجموعة — mutaṣaddir al-maǧmūʿah
Upset — فوز مفاجئ للتوقعات — faūz mufāǧiʾ liltawaquʿāt
Dunk — دانك — daānk
Layup — رمية — ramyah
Dribble — دريبل — duriībl
Referee — حكم — hakam
We couldn’t talk about popular sports in Egypt without mentioning squash. Egypt can currently boast dominance of numerous world squash rankings, with seven of the top ten male players and four of the top ten women players in the world. The men’s and women’s national team holds four world titles apiece from the World Team Squash Championships. Look out for games with Amr Shabana and Karim Darwish playing for the men, and Raneem El Weleily and Nour El Sherbini for the women.
Here are a few words to help you if you are watching squash in Egypt:
Squash — الاسكواش — alaiskawash
Player — لاعب — laeib
Appeal — طعن قضائي — taen qadayiyin
Boast — مفخرة — mufakhara
Board — مجلس — majlis
Double hit — ضربة مزدوجة — darbat muzdawija
Drive — قيادة — qiada
Drop shot — تسقط النار — tasqut alnaar
Half court line — خط المحكمة نصف — khati almahkamat nsf
Handball — كرة يد — kurat yd
Interference — عائق — eayiq
Whatever sport you choose to watch in Egypt we are sure you will love it! And if you would like to practice a little Arabic before you go so you are better prepared both for your travels and any sports you watch, we are here to help. Our tailor-made courses can fit into any schedule. Why not check your current Arabic level with our free online Arabic test and then drop us a quick enquiry.