picture Africa cup of Nations Egypt team

Patriotism and soft power: how Egypt sought to gain from Afcon

When the curtain falls on Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations on Friday night, the overwhelming sense among many local residents will be one of relief. Senegal and Algeria will contest the final but there is a feeling, at the end of a hastily arranged tournament that divided home supporters and saw their team fall short of expectations, that the past month is best swept under the carpet.

Egypt wins Africa Cup of Nations

Egypt wins right to clean up another avoidable Africa Cup of Nations mess

Football-mad fans and the presence of Mohamed Salah can revive flagging tournament but for the fourth time in a row the original hosts – this time Cameroon – have had to be replaced. Six weeks ago the notion that Egypt might host this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations had barely passed anyone’s lips.