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Egypt: Mohamed Salah leads efforts for Aboutrika's pardon

Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah received the Golden Boot after scoring the highest number of goals this season on 13 May 2018 [Mohamed Salah/Twitter]
In the March elections more than 1.7 million ballot papers were reportedly inscribed with his name even though he wasn’t an official candidate. Voters made it clear that they would rather have Salah as their president than any one of those on offer. [Mohamed Salah/Twitter]

Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is leading mediation efforts to convince Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to issue a presidential pardon for former footballer Mohamed Aboutrika.

Football star Mohamed Aboutrika [File photo]

Football star Mohamed Aboutrika [File photo]

According to Al-Khaleej Al-Jadeed, Salah is trying to convince the Egyptian authorities to end Aboutrika's plight and allow him back into the country. Aboutrika has been living outside Egypt for around two years after being accused of joining the Muslim Brotherhood, which has faced an intense crackdown by the Egyptian government.

Salah's efforts come ahead of Egypt's hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) later this year. Salah is hoping that Aboutrika – a former player for the Cairo-based Al-Ahly Club and Egypt's national team – will be present during the AFCON events to support the national team in its attempt to win the title for the eighth time.

READ: Mohamed Salah named BBC African Footballer of the Year 2018

While receiving the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Player of the Year award, Salah praised Aboutrika, saying he "is the star of all times".

Salah's mediation efforts are also receiving huge support from the President of the Egyptian Football Association, Hany Abu Rida, while the hashtag #pardon_Aboutrika had been shared widely on social media.

Mohamed Salah, Egyptian football player - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Mohamed Salah, Egyptian football player – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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