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Thursday, 22 April 2021

Ahly suspend striker for Rabaa salute

Cairo giants suspend Ahmed Abdel-Zaher for waving Rabaa sign during African Champions League game on Sunday; Egypt FA to conduct additional investigations

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 11 Nov 2013
Ahmed Abdel-Zaher
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)
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Ahly suspended striker Ahmed Abdel-Zaher on Monday for displaying the 'Rabaa' salute after he scored a goal against the Orlando Pirates in Sunday's Champions League final.

"In a meeting held today, the football committee decided to suspend the first team's striker Ahmed Abdel-Zaher and to freeze all of his financial dues," a statement read on the club's website Monday.

"The committee tasked the club's football department head Hadi Khashaba and the team's football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz to conduct an investigation before presenting their findings to an emergency board meeting on Tuesday," the statement added.

Abdel-Zaher stirred controversy after Sunday's game-clinching goal when he made the 'Rabaa' sign, a hand salute representing the former protest camp in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

The striker will also be subject to additional investigations by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA).

"The football association board decided in a Monday meeting to investigate Ahmed Abdel-Zaher's actions," the EFA announced in an online statement Monday.

Directly following Sunday's match, Egypt sports minister Taher Abou-Zeid played down Ahmed Abdel-Zaher's behaviour, insisting that what matters is that Ahly won the title.

After the event stirred much controversy and debate in the media, Abou-Zeid said early on Monday that Ahly is also investigating the case, insisting that the player will face severe punishment.

On Sunday, an Egyptian Kung Fu fighter was banned from the sport for one year after making the same gesture at a competition in Russia.

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