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NVP trophy designer doubts Egypt’s ability to win AFCON

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(Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

The designer of the trophy for the Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Man of the Match award, Hany El Sayed was on Thursday given the privilege to present the best player award in the game won 1-0 by Madagascar against Burundi at the Alexandria Stadium in Egypt.

El Sayed’s design was picked as the best for the Man of the Match laurel at the end of every game in the on-going Total AFCON tournament in Egypt. He defeated compatriot, Hassan Kamel by 59 per cent votes to 41 per cent.

Speaking to The Guardian at the end of the match, the 47-year-old sculptor from the Alexandria University in Egypt, said it was an honour to be part of the great tournament sponsored by Total Oil.

“I am 47 years old, a graduate of the Department of Sculptor, Faculty of Fine Arts at the Alexandria University. We were asked to make a design. They gave us instructions, dimensions and other rules… after which we were given three weeks to finish. Thereafter the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) picked two of us, I and Hassan from a number of 10 designers.

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“Our last designs were put on the internet for votes as competition. At the end of the day, my designed trophy got 59 per cent votes while Hassan received 49 per cent,” he said.

El Sayed, who said he has a gallery in Zamalek, expressed joy, saying that it was nice to see his trophy being presented to the Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the end of a match.

“To be picked as the official designer of the trophy for the MVP is a nice thing. I am happy because people chose my design not CAF.  My design is not heavy, very light,” he said.

El Sayed, who is a fan of Mohammed Salah, is optimistic that Egypt would win the trophy one day soon, but he is not sure the country would make it in this year’s tournament.

“We all love Salah, I am a fan of his. Because of him, I want Egypt to win the trophy. After watching two of our games, I think Egypt has a good chance to win the trophy. But I am not sure if they can win it. Egypt depends too much on Salah and Trezeguet. What I saw in the Egyptian team is that they don’t play as a unit… that is the problem. But I know Egypt has good players.

“Other countries that are strong to win the tournament are Senegal, Cameroun and may be Nigeria. Senegal is very dangerous and has a good team,” he added.


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