Learning English - Words in the News
20 January, 2006 - Published 11:37 GMT
African Cup kick-off
The African Cup of Nations begins on Friday in the Egyptian capital Cairo. The tournament will be inaugurated by President Hosni Mubarak. Sixteen teams are competing, with the hosts Egypt among the favourites. This report from Ian Pannell:
With a thunderous musical accompaniment hundreds of pharoahs and scarab beetles scuttle across the pitch at Egypt's national football stadium. A dress rehearsal for the opening ceremony later on Friday. Teams of people have been working around the clock to get it ready in time. But organiser Dr Vikan Gismedgen says everything is now in place.
"As in Africa, football is a big thing in Egypt as well, and all Egyptians, they are very much passionate about football, and this tournament is the chance to express their feelings in a very good manner to all the world, whether media or football fans."
The tournament's an important chance for the country to try and show that it can host, and win, a major competition. But there are fears that if the Egyptian side doesn't play well, the crowds will stay away and the African Cup may go off with a whimper rather than a bang.
Ian Pannell, Middle East correspondent
a thunderous musical accompaniment
scarab beetles scuttle
A dress rehearsal
around the clock
go off with a whimper rather than a bang