The Lost Dream of Salah is a story, as indicated in the headline, about delusive investment in the world of football in Egypt. Over the past 5 years, especially in the last couple of years, there was a huge decrease in the total number of amateur and professional players practicing football in Egypt. After an in-depth research, I found out that due to lack of resources in clubs, the players find themselves forced to find other jobs to do in parellel so that they can afford their life expenses and help their reduced circumstances families. Hence, their performance deteriorates and give up on their dream, the dream of being like Muhammad Salah: the icon. And here’s what I mean when I say “delusive investiment”ـــ that at the same time there’s a talk about arriving investments, the lack of resources leads to the abovementioned. So, as you go along with the story, you will find cases of players who work from 10 to 12 hours a day, and in the same time train 5 days a week with a used pair of shoes, sometimes one pair is not the same size as the other pair. You will also find a comparsion between the number of player in Egypt and Germany, as both countries have the same population. I aslo referred to the system, with which the English Priemer League is working, to show the differences. Given that it is considered one of the best leagues in the world.
What makes this project innovative?
The innovation of this project comes from the projection it provides about the future of the sport in the country. As one of the graphs, included in the story, indicates the huge decreasion in the number of players over the past five years. For instance, the number of players in 2014 was 387.391. In 2015, it decreased to become 250.268, and 231.909 in 2016. If the status in investments remained the same, these number can only go down according to these statistics stated by CAPMAS. This story could be a wake-up call to those who are concerned with the future of football in Egypt.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
In an attempt to increase the number of football players, Egyptian Federation Association turned to get the young football players, who play in private academies, registered in the federation, so that they can be added to their database of football players.
Source and methodology
Sources: 1. Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). 2. Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). 3. The Egyptian Football Association (EFA). 4. The English Football Association (EFA). 5. Sports Law in Egypt. As the data required to go on with the story wasn't available in a structured way, I had to go through the annual bulletin issued by CAPMAS to manually collect the number of players listed in all categories (governmental, public sector, private and youth clubs) at all levels (senior and junior), over a period of 5 years. To complete the data and the story, I contacted the English Football Association, FIFA and the Egyptian Football Federation.
1. iPhone to shoot the video included in the story. 2. Adobe Premiere to edit the video. 3. Photoshop to produce the graphs.
Mohamed Mostafa (senior editor) Ahmed Kamel (designer)