Egypt striker Mohamed Zidan has announced he is planning to marry his Danish partner Stina. The comments have caused confusion in Egypt because he previously claimed to have married her in 2006.
“We are planning to get married but I will not announce when,” the Mainz player told the German newspaper Bild.
The birth of Zidan's first child, Adam, in 2010 shocked fans in Egypt because he was apparently unmarried at the time. Sex outside marriage is forbidden in Islam and any baby born out of wedlock is considered illegitimate.
However, soon after the birth he told fans in Egypt that he was married: “Stina is my wife. I have been married to her according to Islamic teachings since 2006. I just kept it a secret and didn’t authenticate it in Germany due to their strict divorce laws.”
The marriage controversy is likely to provoke more criticism of the 30-year-old Port Said-born player who angered fans in Egypt after he failed to acknowledge the Port Said disaster victims when he scored for Mainz.
All football activity in Egypt has been postponed after 74 people died and more than one thousand seriously injured when Masry fans attacked Ahly fans after the final whistle at a match in Port Said on 1 February.
Zidan later dedicated the goal to the victims of the disaster. Ahly has tried to sign Zidan in the past and he said he would join the Cairo club if he returned to Egypt.
The striker, who moved to Mainz in January after failing to secure a regular first team spot at Borussia Dortmund following a series of injuries – was not selected to attend the national squad's training camp that began on 15 February.
Zidan recently displayed a tattoo on his ribcage of his son's name and date of birth. Tattoos are forbidden under Islamic law and his act is likely to provoke further disquiet among some fans in Egypt.
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