The Egyptian Football Association, headed by Hany Abu Reda, announced that FIFA endorsed Grozny city to be the Egyptian national football team’s training base during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Grozny, which means “fearsome” in Russian, is the capital city of the Chechen Republic and it will not host any games of the 2018 World Cup. Grozny was selected by Egypt from a list of 67 options presented to the World Cup finalists. Daily News Egypt reviews the most important features of the city.
Grozny has a long history. It was founded in 1818 as a Russian military outpost on the Sunzha River by General Aleksey Petrovich Yermolov, in which it played an important role in the Caucasus War. The city has a population of 213,600, down from about 500,000 before the Caucasus War.
Grozny is one of the largest cities with a majority-Muslim population in Russia. It has Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Europe, which accommodates 10,000 worshipers at a time.
The mosque is part of the Islamic architectural complex, which also consists of the Russian Islamic University, Kunta-Haji, and the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Chechnya, which regularly receives delegates from Al-Azhar.
The city grew slowly until the development of oil reserves in the early 20th century. This encouraged the rapid development of industry and petrochemical production. In addition to the oil drilled in the city itself, the city became a geographical centre of Russia’s network of oil fields.
Putin Street, previously known as Border Street, is known as the most beautiful place in Grozny. It has a large ceremony hall, and features more than 700 trees.
Grozny is known for its modern educational institutions. It is home to Chechen State University, Institute of Oil and Education, and a theatre that provides classical works.
The city has significant economic resources, most notably oil production, and is one of Russia’s largest oil sources.
The Chechen language used to be written in Arabic letters until the 1920s, when they was replaced with Russian letters.
A survey carried out in 2012 by eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Inc described Grozny as the happiest among Russian cities, given the improved living conditions and enterprises and the low unemployment rates in the city.
The Battle of Grozny was the Russian Army’s invasion and subsequent conquest of the Chechen capital, during the early months of the First Chechen War.
The attack lasted from December 1994 to March 1995, resulted in the military occupation of the city by the Russian Army, and rallied most of the Chechen nation around the separatist government of Dzhokhar Dudayev.
The Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque, also known as the Heart of Chechnya mosque, is one of the largest mosques in the world. It was opened on 17 October 2008 during a massive forum, titled “Islam – the religion of peace and creativity”. The mosque is located on the picturesque bank of the Sunzha River in the middle of a huge park. It was built in the classical Ottoman style, with a central hall covered with a huge dome.
The height of the four minarets measures 63 meters—one of the highest minarets in the South of Russia. Exterior and interior walls of the mosque are marble, travertine, and the interior is decorated with white marble. The area of the mosque is 5,000 square metres.
Egypt is set to train at Akhmat Arena and will be staying at the Hotel of Grozny. The Pharaohs were drawn into Group A alongside hosts Russia, Uruguay, and Saudi Arabia, with their opening game coming against the South American side on Friday, 15 June in Yekaterinburg, 1,800 kilometres away from Grozny.
They will then face hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia on 19 and 25 June in Saint Petersburg and Volgograd respectively. The distance between Grozny and Yekaterinburg or Saint Petersburg is about 2,600 kilometres, while Volgograd, which will host Egypt’s encounter with Saudi Arabia, is 800 kilometres away.