Nubian group says will sue Zamalek chairman for 'racist remarks'

Hatem Maher , Saturday 4 Jul 2015

Ahmed El-Merghany, dark-skinned player who Mansour insulted, had described President El-Sisi a 'failure' following Wednesday's North Sinai battles between Egyptian army and militants

Mortada Mansour
Zamalek chairman Mortada Mansour (Photo: Ahram)

A Nubian group said on Saturday it will file a lawsuit against Zamalek's controversial chairman Mortada Mansour over what it deemed "racist remarks" about a football player who is originally from the Upper Egyptian city of Aswan.

Mansour, an outspoken lawyer, launched a scathing attack against Ahmed El-Merghany after the Wadi Degla midfielder described President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi a "failure" following last week's North Sinai battles between the Egyptian army and Islamic State-affiliated militants, which left 21 soldiers dead according to the health ministry.

According to the army, 205 militants were also killed in the battles, which are considered the fiercest in the restive peninsula in years.

During a phone-in with Dream TV on Tuesday, where Merghany was hosted, Mansour described him as a "bawab" (doorman) in an implicit reference to his dark skin.

Aswan's General Nubian Union, a group that promotes the rights of Nubians who often complain of marginalization by the central government, has deemed Mansour's remarks racist and derogatory.

"The union's has decided to sue Mansour for inciting hatred and discriminating against a group of the society with the intention of disdaining them," the Union said on its official Facebook page.

"His racist remarks saw him insult the player and the Nubians by telling him 'you are a doorman and servant', also disdaining a respectable profession which has been the job of many Nubians over the past decades.

"We got used to such rotten comments from Mansour against any person who disagrees with him or the authorities," the statement added.

Merghany's contract was terminated by Egyptian Premier League side Wadi Degla following his criticism of Sisi. The club said its rules prohibit any player from publicly discussing politics.

The 27-year-old joined Zamalek in 2008 and left the club in 2013 when Mansour was the chairman.

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