Retired Egyptian football star Mohamed Abou-Treika will not be returning to Egypt from Doha to attend his father’s wake on Monday after he was added to the Egypt’s terror list, a close friend of the player told Ahram Online.
The source said that Aboutrika fears he will be placed under a travel ban if he returns to Egypt.
Under the country’s anti-terrorism law, any person placed on a terror list is subject to a travel ban and faces having their passports and assets frozen.
“The situation is very difficult and sad. Abou-Treika's lawyer advised him not to attend the wake, because he could be stopped at the airport and his passport could be seized, as has been the case with other people on the list,” the source said, adding that Aboutrika had intended to attend his father’s funeral on Sunday but could not book a flight that would arrive on time.
In early February, the retired 38-year-old player was summoned by Egyptian prosecutors for interrogation after being placed on the terror list in mid-January for alleged links to the banned Muslim Brotherhood group.
In 2015, a government committee froze the assets of the former player, accusing him of funding the Brotherhood, though his assets were unfrozen in 2016 by a court order.
Tarek Attia, the head of the interior ministry’s media sector, told TV host Amr Adib on Sunday that the interior ministry has received no security order regarding Abou-Treika.
“Security bodies have no order to prevent the player from coming to Egypt and attend his father's funeral or to prevent his exit or restrict his movement within Egypt.”
Abou-Treika's lawyer Mohamed Osman has asserted that his client’s placement on the terror list is illegal because he has not been convicted in any criminal case, which is a precondition for placement on terror lists. Osman said Aboutrika will be appealing the decision.
According to Osman, the retired player’s asset freeze is still in place despite a court ruling that it be lifted.
Egypt's current terror list contains over 1,500 names, including top Brotherhood leaders convicted of violent crimes. These include Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi; organisation chief Mohamed Badie; owner of the Juhayna dairy company, businessman Safwan Thabet; and chairman of the Islamist Wasat Party Abul-Ela Mady and his deputy.
Abou-Treika hung up his boots in December 2013 after participating with Ahly in the FIFA Club World Cup, ending an exceptional career that etched his name among the country's all-time greats.
The former top class Ahly and Egypt midfielder was dubbed “the Magician” and “the Saint” during his playing days.