Telecom Egypt didn’t bear costs of celebrity cheering delegate to World Cup

State-owned Telecom Egypt has not covered the travel costs for the celebrity cheering delegation, which flew to cheer for the country’s national football in the World Cup games, TE sources told Amwal Al Ghad on Tuesday.

Telecom Egypt only gave the chance for a number of its esteemed clients as well as fans, who won its two competitions to attend the World Cup in Russia to support the national team, the sources added.

Later, Presentation Sports Company, the sponsor of the Egyptian national football team, issued an official statement on Tuesday denying a media report that Telecom Egypt covered the travel expenses of the celebrity cheering delegation, which included a number of artists and public figures.

The advertising company also said it had invited some celebrities to come to Russia and support the national team.

“Telecom Egypt only covered the travel costs of those winners in its competition,” the Presentation Sports statement read.

The arrival of Egyptian celebrities in Russia to cheer for the country’s national football team at the World Cup has stirred controversy among Egyptian fans and sports commentators, who have expressed worry that the celebrities’ presence could have a negative impact on the players’ focus.

Many in Egypt have expressed outrage over the celebrity delegation – which includes athletes, journalists, TV presenters, actors, and actresses staying at the same hotel as the national football team members.

Media reports said the delegation arrived in St Petersburg on Monday for a trip sponsored by state-owned mobile network operator WE, part of Telecom Egypt.

The Pharaohs are participating in the World Cup for the first time in 28 years.