Egyptians express support for Aboutrika after football legend labeled terrorist

Published January 19th, 2017 - 01:03 GMT
Aboutrika playing for former club Baniyas in 2013 (Karim Jaafar/Al-Watan Doha/AFP)
Aboutrika playing for former club Baniyas in 2013 (Karim Jaafar/Al-Watan Doha/AFP)

Egyptians have taken to social media to show solidarity with footballing legend Mohamed Aboutrika, after he was placed on a terror list in Egypt.

The midfielder, who played for the his national side as well as Egyptian club al-Ahly, has faced legal problems since 2013 due to his alleged ties with the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Aboutrika received a wave of support after his lawyer announced the ruling on Tuesday. “Terrorist of [our] hearts” was the number one trending topic in Egypt for some time, as many tweeted words of comfort to the well-liked sports star.

 

Aboutrika’s former Egypt teammate and Roma midfielder, Mohamed Salah, shared this message of support:

I wrote it before, and I will repeat it again. The love of the people is enough. (pictured tweet reads: You will remain in our hearts Aboutrika, and the love of the people is enough for you)

Sports commentator, Khaled Bauomy, posted the following simple tweet:

 Aboutrika is in [my] heart.

Fellow al-Ahly player, Amr Elsolia, wrote:

I worked with you for a short while and I had the honor of playing beside you. You will be distinguished as a footballing icon in Egypt and Africa.

However, not all expressed love for the former Egypt international. Actress Dalia El Beheri reportedly posted on her Facebook page that: “Aboutrika was a terrorist before he supported the Brotherhood! He is formed like a terrorist."

Beheri later deleted the post, sharing a "personal apology to the player Mohamed Aboutrika and to his fans and those who love him, who are the majority of the Egyptian people, for any misunderstanding or offence which might have seemed to have come from me.”

“For those who know me well and my beloved fans who who truly know me, I am not accustomed to offending people, even if they offend me, and I certainly am not stupid enough to insult someone of the stature of the player Mohamed Aboutrika,” the apology continues.

Abdelrahman Magdy, a football agent, offered this angry rebuttal to Beheri’s words on Twitter:

Dalia El Beheri says that Aboutrika is formed like a terrorist. OK, so if we look at her form, doesn’t she realize what she looks like?

Aboutrika’s lawyer has said that they will appeal the decision which he has claimed is illegal, given that the retired sportsman has not been convicted of any offence.

RA

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