A government committee charged with seizing the assets of members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood said on Friday that it had confiscated assets belonging to popular Egyptian footballer Mohamed Abou-Treika.
In a statement, the committee said it had issued a decision to confiscate tourism company Ashab Tours, which was founded in 2013 by Abou-Treika, and an unnamed member of the Brotherhood group.
The committee added that the manager of that company, Anas Mohamed Omar El-Kady, is a Brotherhood member and is currently detained pending a trial in Alexandria where he is accused of committing "hostile acts against the state."
The statement added that El-Kady used company funds to finance "terrorist attacks" and said the decision to confiscate the company was based on a court ruling related to the trial of El-Kady.
Egypt's constitution outlaws the confiscation of assets and funds without a court order.
The statement came after daily Al-Watan published an exclusive report on Thursday claiming that the committee ordered the Central Bank of Egypt to freeze all bank accounts and assets associated with Abou-Treika due to his Muslim Brotherhood ties.
Abou-Treika has already presented a petition against the decision, according to the statement, which did not say whether the decision to confiscate the assets was permanent.
On Friday the popular footballer, who retired in 2013 after leading Egypt’s leading club Ahly to a host of domestic and continental victories, said via his Facebook and Twitter accounts that despite the ruling he would not leave Egypt.
Fans responded by tweeting hashtags like "Abou-Treika is a red line" and "Abou-Treika is not a criminal", which were among the most popular hashtags in Egypt for several hours.
The footballing star supported Mohamed Morsi during the 2012 election but has remained largely tight-lipped about his political allegiances since Morsi’s 2013 ouster, although pro-state media has regularly accused him of affiliation with the now-banned Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood was designated as a terrorist organisation by the Egyptian government in 2013.