Africa Cup of Nations Notebook - Day 2

Friday June 21 2019

Caf feel the heat, advise accordingly

Confederation of African Football has advised teams to beware of high temperatures during the tournament expected to be between 35 degrees Celsius and 38 degrees Celsius and train accordingly.

Because of these prevailing weather conditions tournament organisers will apply the Fifa recommended rule of three minutes rest and refreshing breaks in the 30th and 75th minutes of matches. The medical services of the Local Organising Committee has been mandated to ensure there is provision of crushed ice, drinks for referees and small towels cold and wet to be used as and when needed.

Smoking here is as easy as a, b, c!

Whereas in Kenya smokers act like a condemned lot, having to go to secluded places to puff in bliss or face risk of arrest for breaking the law, in Cairo smokers rule the streets.

Almost every grown man you meet is puffing away in euphoric pleasure, the taxi man, hotel attendant, security personnel, name them.


Here smoking is the norm. An easy way to strike up a conversation is to offer a smoke or ask for a light. Invariably, the streets are littered with butts of smoked out cigarettes. It seems, smoking is anything but a vice.

‘Baba’ showing trappings of power
Opposition doyen Raila Odinga, now a government ally in the building bridges initiative, is very much a VVIP here in Egypt. When he visited the Kenya team at their base at New Cairo he was with a convoy of two cars and a chase vehicle containing mean looking, hawk-eyed Egyptian security personnel. Raila seemed very much at home in this environment and could not help stating: “I will be meeting with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.” The Orange Democratic Leader promised to come and watch the boys tackle Algeria in their opening match on Sunday.

Locals feel ticket prices too high

Tickets to matches featuring Egypt were initially priced at 200 Egyptian Pounds (about $12, Sh1,200) for the cheapest admission and graduated up to 600 Egyptian Pounds (Sh3,750) for premium seats. But a protest from the public saw the Local Organising Committee make some concessions.

At Friday’s opening match pitting hosts Egypt versus Zimbabwe, the cheapest tickets were sold for 100 Egyptian Pounds (Sh625), while the second costlier entrance was pegged at 300 Egyptian Pounds (Sh1,875) while the most expensive remained at 600 pounds (Sh3,750).