Organized American football was only introduced to Egypt a couple of years ago and is growing rapidly in popularity. There are now two separate leagues, the Egyptian League of American Football – ELAF and the Egyptian Federation of American Football – EFAF. Although politics is partly the reason for the two entities, ultimately there are now 13 teams playing the game on an organized level in this African country where soccer and basketball are the dominant sports.
This is the second installment in a two-part series looking at the development of American football in Egypt. Although EFAF is heading into its second season, the ELAF is kicking off its inaugural edition of tackle football in 2016.
The Egyptian League of American Football which was launched a year ago, and focused initially on helping arrange the IFAF qualifying game against Morocco and then flag football, is gearing up for its first tackle season in 2016.
Founded by its president, Mo’men Naiem, who is also vice chair of IFAF Africa, the league kicked off a preseason schedule in preparation for the February start of the regular season.
Four teams played in the preseason and two more will be added (Cairo Bulls and Cairo Gorillas) for the start of the regular season in two months. The Cairo Sharks and Hawks dominated the action but as each team gains experience there should be more parity.
Cairo Sharks: Head Coach Mohamed Abd El-Aziz – Cairo Mustangs: Head Coach Mostafa Radwan
The Sharks had an overall preseason record of 5-1 dropping an 18-14 decision to the Hawks as their only loss. The Mustangs struggled to a 1-5 but not before pushing the Sharks in both of their contests.
Cairo Bue Hawks: Head Coach Omar Hatem – Cairo Lions: Head Coach Abd El-Rahman Magdi
As mentioned, the final two teams in the league, the Cairo Bulls (head coach Amr Samir) and Cairo Gorillas (head coach Mostafa Gama) will join the ELAF for the regular season.