Egyptian "classicos" have often stirred controversies in the football world, but this time spites between supporters of Al Ahly SC and Zamalek SC have gone too far, causing racist insults that were met with police arrests.
Following the final game of the Confederation of African Football Champions League where Zamalek SC lost the title to its traditional rival, a video went viral featuring fans of Al Ahly SC celebrating their ninth title with a black dog dressed in Zamalek T-shirt, chanting the name "Shika," in reference to the popular black footballer Shikabala, who had scored for Zamalek during the game.
As soon as the video spread online, social media users vastly condemned the racist remarks against Mahmoud "Shikabala" Abdel-Razek, saying that racism based on skin color shouldn't be part of football or sports at large.
Skin is only 2mm thick, yet people tend to judge others based on their skin color. Racism is the real pandemic facing humanity today. The vaccine is to see each other as God's beautiful creation regardless of our skin color.— Michael Melad (@MichaelMelad88) November 29, 2020
Responding to the social protest against racism, Egyptian police announced arresting 15 individuals connected to the video and pledged to arrest internet users responsible for posting racist remarks following the match.
In an official statement, Al Ahly SC condemned the racist remarks against Shikabala, who plays for the Egyptian national team, saying that he is one of the best football players in Egypt.
This incident isn't the first for the 34-year old native of Aswan who has been dubbed as "the Black Diamond," who has faced similar racist remarks in the past, such as the 2010 racist attack that urged the player to announce "quitting international football." Since 2012, the player had agreed to play for the national team during several matches including Egypt's participation in the 2018 World Cup.
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