Shafiq SHARQIYA, Egypt (Xinhua) -- Egypt’s Sharqiya
men’s field hockey team has become the most winning team in the
Arab and African countries, earning a place in the Guinness Book
Last season, Sharqiya Hockey team, which belongs to Sharqiya
Club, won the local league championship, the Africa Cup of Club
Championship and crowned its successful course by winning the
local Super Cup last week.
“The team’s history is full of Egyptian and African
championships...we won 28 out of 34 national league
championships,” Ahmed al-Shafei, director of the team, told
“The team also won nine copies of the Egyptian Cup, as well as
two local Super Cups,” al-Shafei added.
The club entered the Guinness Book of Records as it won the 26th
edition of the Africa Cup of Club Championship, marking the 23rd
African win in its history and 12 consecutive African titles, a
sports record in the Encyclopedia of World Sport.
Sharqiya team followed its African dream in 1988 by winning the
first African Clubs Championship which was hosted in Egypt in
Police Sports Association Club.
Because of this history, the team received two Sports Medals
from the Egyptian Presidency. The first was in 1992 and the
second in 2008. It becomes the only team to have Sports Medal in
“The team is currently nicknamed ‘Club of Century’ and we are in
the Guinness Book of Records because of our large number of
championships,” al-Shafei said.
Al-Shafei attributed the distinction of his team to the spirit
of the group and the self-denial of the team players, who all
come from Sharqiya province, northeast of Cairo.
He pointed out that the team includes several talented players,
which gave continuity to the superiority of the team.
“Eight of our players are in the national team, and some players
have already played for Italian teams,” the team’s director
Three years ago, the administration of the club had to ban
players from signing with foreign clubs in order to maintain
“Climbing to the summit is easy, but staying there is difficult,
so we reject professional offers,” said al-Shafei.
“In turn, we raised the categories of players and rewards, to
compensate them for missing professional opportunities,” al-Shafei
Speaking about the challenges his team is facing, al-Shafei
complained about two problems.
“The first is the limited capabilities: the governorate is no
longer supporting the team, and the Youth and Sports Ministry is
supporting us partially so we resort to businessmen to get
financial support,” said the team manager.
Al-Shafei urged Minister of Youth and Sports to increase the
financial aid he provides to the team, stressing that “the team
is an ambassador to Egypt and the state should support those who
The second problem, according to Al-Shafei, is that the team is
marginalized by the media. Sharqiya Hockey Team is more famous
in Africa than in Egypt.
Team player Ahmed al-Ganayni agreed with his manager, stressing
that the team is suffering from a lack of financial resources
and weak media coverage.
Al-Ganayni, who is a midfielder, revealed that many of the
team’s players have to work in the morning in government
institutions and then join the trainings to overcome the poor
financial resources of the club.
He also complained that hockey is not popular in Egypt,
attributing this to the lack of hockey courts, which are only
available in Cairo, Sharqiya, Port Said and Alexandria
Although it’s not popular in the North African Arab country,
ancient Egyptians played a game that is similar to present-day
Drawings on ancient tombs show players holding bats made of long
palm-tree branches, with a bent end similar to that of the
The hockey ball was made of compressed papyrus fibers covered
with two pieces of leather in the shape of a semicircle.