How often do you get the opportunity to visit lost football ground on African soil? Right, chances are slim you'll find some or even get in. But when we were in Egypt, we were lucky enough to find such a gem. Former player: Grand Hotel Football Club Hurghada.
All in all there isn't much football tradition to be found at Grand Hotel FC. As you can already guess, the club was founded by the Grand Hotel. That hotel is in Hurghada, but oddly enough it's not near the stadium. Grand Hotel is a few kilometres away, right next to another football ground. But we'll talk more about this later. The ground itself is on the other hand right next to the Steigenberger hotel.
The club was only created in 2007, but went through the leagues very fast. We do have to admit, there aren't too many divisions in Egypt. After only one year, Grand Hotel FC was in the second division. And the results weren't bad either. In 2010 they even managed to land on a beautiful third spot, only just missing out on promotion to the Premier League. Sadly enough, one year later they relegated back to the third division.
They would never return to the second division again. Even more so: by 2014 the team wouldn't even exist anymore. When they folded exactly is unknown. We couldn't find those details and even the locals couldn't confirm. We assume this happened in 2014, which would mean the club only existed for seven years. Yet they managed to get to the second division and they were even very close to the top league. Slightly similar to the legendary FC Assent in Belgium, that only existed for 14 years and also managed to get to the second division.
The Hurghada Estad Grand was supposedly built in 2003. We don't know who played there before 2007. Later on, the small grandstand (covered with wooden sticks and a curtain) was extended for football in the Egyptian second division. In the meantime it's abandoned, but it's not ruined. Every day the grass still gets watered and the side pitches (artificial pitches) are still being used by the locals to have some football fun. The wooden sticks/poles and curtain did disappear in the meantime though.
If you want to enjoy our articles in Dutch, you can read them here.