PM hails 'Made In Egypt' footballs for World Cup as 'nucleus' for a sports products city

Ahram Online , Tuesday 22 Nov 2022

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has praised a Cairo-based co-manufacturer of the official ball - Al Rihla - played with at the ongoing 2022 World Cup in Qatar as a "nucleus" for establishing an integrated industrial city for sports products in the country.



Madbouly made his remarks on Monday in a meeting with representatives from Forward Egypt, one of the companies that was commissioned by global sports equipment heavyweight Adidas to manufacture a portion of the official balls for the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Forward Egypt is an affiliate of Pakistani Forward sports equipment group.

Al Rihla, which means “the journey” in Arabic, is the official name of the ball played at the Qatar 2022.

It is is the 14th consecutive ball that Adidas has manufactured for the global competition since 1970. 

The ball, which is made with water-based inks and glues, is one of the most environmentally-friendly World Cup balls, according to FIFA.

Adidas has contracted Forward Egypt to manufacture 1,500 out of a total of 6,000 balls used on the pitch in the prestigious tournament, according to Gasser El-Sayed, the chairman of the board of directors of Forward Egypt.

Forward Egypt's factory is "one of the centres for the localisation of industries in the country," El-Sayed stressed.

The company has manufactured the balls in a partnership agreement with the Egyptian Armed Forces-owned National Service Projects Authority, he explained.

It purchased the needed machines from Pakistan in coordination with Adidas, he added. 

The agreement with Adidas also stipulates that Forward Egypt will manufacture the footballs for sale by Adidas around the world.

Forward Egypt is the only Adidas-accredited entity in the Middle East approved to manufacture the official World Cup ball, according to the company’s chairman.

PM Madbouly congratulated the Forward Egypt chairman as well as Assistant General Director of the National Service Projects Authority Saad Abdel-Aziz, who attended the meeting, on their partnership to manufacture "such a distinguished sports product."

Madbouly expressed the government's readiness to offer support to the company to make "this experience a successful national story," read a cabinet statement.

The factory is located in the Al-Robbiki Leather City, a recently inaugurated giant centre for leather industry in Cairo's Badr new city, with production capacity of about 3.5 million balls annually and a workforce of 600 Egyptian workers.

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