Egyptian ping pong champion Assar expelled from Mediterranean Games over 'offensive comments' about Egypt

Yomna Kotb, Thursday 28 Jun 2018

Table Tennis Federation's president threatens to take strict measures against Omar Assar

Egypt expel table tennis champion out of MediterraneanGames for
cahmpion Omar Assar playing tennis (Facebook Photo)

Ping pong player Omar Assar was expelled on Thursday from the Egyptian delegation participating in the Mediterranean Games in Spain over "offensive comments" he made about Egypt after his match against Turkey's player.

“Morals are more important than prizes, and regardless of what happened, he should not insult the country,” president of the Egyptian Table Tennis Federation Moataz Ashour told Ahram Online.

The exact nature of Assar's comments is unclear.

Assar's agent Mohi Fouda told Ahram Online that "the player's knee had been swollen a few days before [the match], and the delegation knew this, so during the match he felt pain but wanted so much to win this game, so any offensive comments were made due to nervousness and were unintentional."

Fouda added that "after this incident I told him he should not leave, stay to encourage the other Egyptian player, but the Egyptian delegation, which is represented by Mohamed Nour, refused."

Assar said on Facebook "I am honoured to represent my country at any time or place."

Ashour stressed that as soon as the delegation returns on 1 July, the board will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the issue and implement the appropriate punishment, which may be a long suspension.

Omar's agent said that the player "is ready to accept any kind of punishment, but there is no need for long-term suspensions. The board should consider that he has been a disciplined player and has represented Egypt in several tournaments."

This is the 18th edition of the Mediterranean Games, which is hosted by the Spanish city of Tarragona from 22 June to 1 July 2018.

(For more sports news and updates and a special World Cup 2018 coverage, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)

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