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Algeria football captain snubs Egypt PM

Algerian international football player Riyad Mahrez
Algerian team captain Riyad Mahrez

Algerian team captain Riyad Mahrez is likely to be banned from Egypt after he snubbed the Egyptian prime minister at the closing ceremony of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

After shaking hands with FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Mahrez turned his back on PM Moustafa Madbouly and Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhy as he went to collect his trophy.

Egyptian lawyer Sami Sabri has asked Attorney General Nabil Ahmed Sadiq to put Mahrez on a list of people who are banned from Egypt. If Sadiq authorises the ban, Mahrez will join the Egyptian footballer and national hero Mohamed Aboutrika in being banned from entering the country.

Aboutrika was targeted by Egyptian authorities after a video circulated in which he announced his support for Mohamed Morsi in the 2012 presidential elections.

READ: Denied medical care, 2 political prisoners die in Egypt jail

Authorities seized his assets, accused him of tax evasion and placed him on a terror list for allegedly financing the Muslim Brotherhood. Aboutrika now lives in exile in Qatar.

At Algeria’s semi-final win, hundreds of spectators chanted in support of Aboutrika and against the government’s attempts to silence political opposition.

Algeria beat Senegal 1-0 in the final on Friday, hosted by Egypt, in a tournament riddled with political controversy including a new requirement in which spectators were required to apply for Fan ID in which they had to hand over personal data in exchange for a ticket.

During Algeria’s opening game against Kenya, Egyptian authorities arrested three Algerian fans. One was reportedly holding a sign that read “they should all resign.”

Last week the Chairman of Zamalek SC football team called the Algerian presenter of BeIN Sports, Hafid Derradji, a terrorist after he visited Aboutrika’s family.

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