39. The Pope, Copts and Church's soccer league

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The author, Yāsir Ayūb, dedicates a nearly full-page opinion article under the title "the game of politics and religion" to his meetings and interviews with Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III about soccer and sports.

He said that inside the Egyptian churches there is a soccer league that encompasses 700 clubs and more than 10,000 players, which is much larger than the official Premier League, and, notwithstanding, we can't find a single Coptic player making it to the Premier League.

The author says that Pope Shenouda has said with a poignant tone that Copts do not enjoy their full rights in Egypt, neither in the top state posts nor even in soccer.

The author also says that he was once told by Pope Shenouda that did not watch soccer games but knows some names of leading players and always orders prayers before any important game by the national team.

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