Algerian footballer Mahrez sparks outrage for ‘ignoring’ Egyptian PM

Algerian footballer Mahrez sparks outrage for ‘ignoring’ Egyptian PM
An Egyptian lawyer has filed a complaint against Algerian star striker Riad Mahrez following the player's apparent ‘ignoring’ of the Egyptian prime minister.
2 min read
21 July, 2019
Mahrez greeted FIFA boss Gianni Infantino but not Egyptian PM Moustafa Madbouly [Getty]
Algerian football star Riad Mahrez is likely to be banned from entering Egypt following an apparent snub to the Egyptian prime minister and minister of sports.

The Manchester City striker was shown in a video, which went viral on social media, shaking hands with FIFA President Gianni Infantino and another official at the closing ceremony of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, which was hosted by Egypt and won by Algeria.

Standing next to Infantino and the other official were Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhy. However, instead of continuing to greet them, Mahrez turned his back on them and left the ceremony, in what officials interpreted as a calculated insult.

Egyptian newspapers reported that a lawyer, Sami Sabri, has reported Mahrez to the country’s attorney general, Nabil Ahmed Sadiq, in order to put the star Algerian player on a list of individuals banned from entering Egypt.

Sabri said that Mahrez had shown contempt for the Egyptian prime minister while Algeria were being crowned champions of the African Cup of Nations.

On Twitter, many Egyptians criticised Mahrez but some said that he had not meant to ignore the Egyptian ministers.

The incident happened following a statement by the Algerian coach, Jamel Belmadi, who when asked about Egyptian support for the Algerian team, known as the 'Sahara Warriors' said, “I need to consult with my eye doctor in France because I didn’t see that”.

Belmadi’s statements regarding the lack of Egyptian support for Algeria attracted a great deal of criticism. The two northern African nations share the same language and religion but there has been a lot of rivalry between them on the football pitch in the past.

Algeria beat Senegal 1-0 on Friday evening, winning the African Cup of Nations.

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