BBC BLOGS - Piers Edwards

Archives for February 2011

Will Egypt's revolution end the Pharaohs' long reign?

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Piers Edwards | 13:46 UK time, Thursday, 17 February 2011

Whisper it quietly but the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak, often dubbed The Last Pharaoh, could also inadvertently end the reign of Egypt's national football team - aka the Pharaohs - as African champions.

For even though football has become understandably trivial to millions of fans and players, the revolution's timing couldn't really be worse for a country that has traditionally dominated the African game.

Next month the team, which has won the last three Africa Cup of Nations (and a record seven overall), travel to South Africa for a game where defeat would leave last year's World Cup hosts six points clear in Group G with only three qualifiers left and the North Africans with a mountain to climb.

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Pressure cooker clash a challenge for hothead Diouf

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Piers Edwards | 09:36 UK time, Friday, 4 February 2011

El Hadji Diouf is not known for his self-control, which makes you wonder - or worry - about how Rangers' new signing is going to react to his first Old Firm clash on Sunday.

With next-to-no-time to settle in following his last-minute loan deal, a man often dubbed the 'most hated man in British football' is about to be catapulted into the most acrimonious fixture on these isles.

And what a reception it promises to be, for Diouf was already persona non grata with Celtic fans after spitting at one of their number when representing Liverpool in a 2003 Uefa Cup clash.

But this constant bedfellow of controversy - his latest incident, Jamie Mackie-gate, seemingly sparking his Blackburn exit (coach Steve Kean never selected him again) - claims to thrive on adversity and, one way or another, he's unlikely to go missing.

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