Threadbare Egyptian soccer team forced to break Adidas boycott
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Threadbare Egyptian soccer team forced to break Adidas boycott

National squad can’t afford new uniforms after Arab ministers call for boycott on sportswear firm following Jerusalem Marathon

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat running the Jerusalem Marathon in an Adidas shirt in March. (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat running the Jerusalem Marathon in an Adidas shirt in March. (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

An Arab boycott of Adidas, ordered because the sportswear firm sponsored a race in Israel last month, has knitted Egypt’s national soccer team into a corner.

The head of the Arab Council of Youth and Sports Ministers, Saudi Prince Nawaf Bin Faisal, called for a boycott on the German firm, as well as all others who sponsored the Jerusalem Marathon.

But Egypt’s national team, which sports Adidas threads, can’t afford new uniforms, forcing it to break the boycott, according to Al-Ahram.

The team, known as the Pharaohs, is scheduled to take part in a number of friendlies in the coming days, against Nigeria, Iraq and Benin, at a training camp in the United Arab Emirates.

Egyptian fans celebrating in 2009. (photo credit: Wissam Nassar/Flash90)
Egyptian fans celebrating in 2009. (photo credit: Wissam Nassar/Flash90)

“We have no choice but to wear Adidas in the UAE camp as we don’t have any other outfits,” Pharaohs Director Samir Adly told the Arabic newspaper. “I hope the Egyptian Football Association resolves this problem when we return from the UAE as we currently have no options but Adidas.”

Arab sports ministers called the boycott in Jeddah earlier this month for what they said was an Israeli attempt to present Jerusalem as its capital.

They added they would organize a rival marathon, under the banner “Jerusalem is Ours,” to be run in multiple Arab cities at the same time as the Jerusalem Marathon next year.

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