(MENAFN - Arab News) With the Africa Cup of Nations final approaching, passions are running high among the fans, but none are as high in Jeddah as the ones coming from the large number of Egyptian expatriates.
The sale of Egyptian flags and colors has increased noti-ceably in anticipation of the Egypt-Algeria match scheduled for Thursday.
"Many commercial centers, particularly sporting goods stores have been placing large orders for Egyptian and Algerian flags. They also want sashes inscribed with national emblems of these countries," Qasim Muhyuddin, marketing director of Mizallah Flag Factory in Jeddah, told Arab News on Wednesday.
Muhyuddin pointed out that because the Egyptian community is much larger than the Algerian one, the Egyptian colors are more popular here.
Arab News observed many hawkers with bundles of flags at crowded intersections in front of popular downtown coffee houses and parts of the city where large numbers of Egyptian workers live.
Ahmad Ashraf, a worker in a popular coffee shop near Al-Baiah Square, told Arab News that the shop would charge SR10 extra to customers who wanted to watch the match on Thursday night.
"The crowd of fans will be huge tonight as happened last time when the two countries played in Sudan," Ashraf said, referring to the postgame clashes that led to riots in Cairo and a brief political row between the two countries over allegations Egyptian fans and businesses were attacked by Algerian revelers.
Algeria will play Egypt in the semifinal of the Africa Cup of Nations. The winner of this match will play the winner of the Ghana vs. Nigeria match, which takes place on the same day, in the final on Sunday.
By Muhammad Humaidan