Saturday,21 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1203, (26 June - 2 July 2014)
Saturday,21 July, 2018
Issue 1203, (26 June - 2 July 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Shining again

Egyptian fans were elated to see the Pharaohs’ superstar, Mohamed Abu Treika, on television again — this time as a pundit, writes Marawan Zayed

Al-Ahram Weekly

When Mohamed Abu Treika retired last December, the blues hit Ahli and Egyptian football fans. It was difficult to imagine the football scene without Abu Treika and everyone knew they would miss seeing him on television. It seems Egyptian legend Mohamed Abu Treika did not want to disappoint his fans and is now back on TV, but as a pundit for beIN Sports during the World Cup.

Abu Treika is thus following in the footsteps of many other Egyptian stars like Ahmed Hossam Mido, who left beIN Sports after assuming the role of Zamalek’s head coach, and Hazem Emam, who is also in the punditry team of the World Cup alongside Abu Treika.

Abu Treika was invited by the FIFA to attend the opening game of the World Cup signed for beIN Sports. He left for the World Cup three days prior the competition to analyse the matches alongside some big names such as former Brazilian player and manager, Dunga, Arsenal’s manager, Arsene Wenger, Saudi Arabian legend, Sami El-Jaber, and fellow Egyptian legend, Hazem Emam.

Abu Treika did not seem nervous or fazed by the occasion at all, appearing collected, elegant, calm and direct in the same way he used to play his game. In the past, some people had criticised Ahmed Hossam Mido for being loud and overexcited while analysing games. Abu Treika seemed to be a natural on TV and viewers were pleased to see him holding up next to some big names like Wenger and Dunga.

beIN Sports is considered by many as the leading sports channel in the Middle East given their superior exclusivity in being the FIFA right holders for broadcasting in the Middle East and North Africa region. For years now, they have been airing all the top competitions like the World Cup, the Champions League and the top three leagues.

However, beIN Sports is not the only channel analysing the World Cup being followed by Egyptians. Many other Egyptian state and private channels have been analysing the games of the most prestigious football competition on earth. Even though they do not have the privilege of live broadcasting, local channels’ analytical studios invite famous former players, head coaches and media experts to dissect the games after they are finished.  Nevertheless, being the only official channel to take the full rights of airing the World Cup, beIN Sports still has the position of being the only reliable and looked up to channel during the World Cup.

People like seeing someone like Abu Treika or Arsene Wenger evaluating games on a daily basis, in addition to Hazem Emam, who is already an established name in the punditry world, thanks to working for beIN Sports for some time now. Other channels, such as Al-Nahar Sport, Al-Hayat, Ahli TV, CBC and Al-Kahera We El Nas, do examine games, but they do not have the right to air the matches on their channels, which makes them less credible and not a target for many people. Abu Treika’s only unfulfilled football dream was to play at the World Cup, but at least now he has the chance to be part of the competition in a somewhat different way.

The writer is a freelance journalist.

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