Egypt's sports minister downplays Abdel-Zaher's Rabaa salute

Ahram Online, Monday 11 Nov 2013

Taher Abou-Zeid says Ahly's African Champions League triumph 'is more important' than Ahmed Abdel-Zaher's goal celebration after he made the four-finger 'Rabaa' salute

Ahly's Ahmed Abdul Zaher, appears to make a four-fingered hand signal after scoring a goal, a gesture that is linked with support for ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, during the African Champions League second leg final match between Egyptian Al Ahly club and South Africa's Orlando Pirates, at the Arab Contractors stadium in Cairo.(Photo: AP)

Egypt's Sports Minister Taher Abou-Zeid played down the importance of Ahmed Abdel-Zaher's goal celebration after the Ahly striker made the four-finger 'Rabaa' salute during his team's African Champions League final against Orlando Pirates.

Abdel-Zaher wrapped up Ahly's win after doubling their lead with 12 minutes remaining as the Red Devils beat South Africa's Orlando Pirates 2-0 to win the African Champions League with a 3-1 aggregate victory.

However, he stirred controversy when he made the Rabaa sign, saying he sought to honour the victims of the police's dispersal of an Islamists sit-in in August that left hundreds dead and thousands injured.

"Ahly's Champions League triumph is bigger than Abdel-Zaher's sign. This does not matter, what matters is that Ahly won the title," Abou-Zied said in a television interview.

"Ahly is a patriotic club that was always at the heart of any revolution."

An Egypt Kung fu player was banned for one year earlier on Sunday after making the same gesture at a competition in Russia.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)


Short link: