You know Egyptians, like so many other countries, adore their football. I didn’t think it could get any more frantic, but with the World Cup looming in South Africa, the fanaticism has grown to an obsession. Especially after a close match with the champions of Brazil.

So imagine what Cairo was like the other night after they beat Italy. Yes, Italy! Even the Italians were disgusted with themselves, moreso when one of their players lost his pants to reveal a white backside, caught on a thousand cameras.

After the match, the city closed off one of the main cross-city tunnels as dancing revellers poured through it, and homemade fireworks lit the sky. Hundreds of cars lined up to drive through Korba, just near my house, so they could wave their flags and have their cars rocked by the swarms of boys celebrating with horns and drums, chanting, “Misr! Misr! Misr!” (Egypt! Egypt! Egypt!)

Egypt is next pitted against America tomorrow night, which they are ridiculously confident of winning, and is the qualifier for the World Cup. I say: show caution. They say: it’s America. Which is almost as bad as Australia.