Egypt freezes footballer's funds, unfreezes Mubarak-era minister's bank accounts

Egypt freezes footballer's funds, unfreezes Mubarak-era minister's bank accounts
Cairo decrees an end to freeze on former minister of defence's assets - and the seizing of funds belonging to a popular footballer, causing outrage on social media.
2 min read
10 December, 2015
Aboutrika has denied the allegations he belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood [Getty]
Authorities in Egypt have decided to "unfreeze" the funds of a notorious former minister of defence, and at the same time to seize the assets of an allegedly pro-Islamist footballing legend.

The Egyptian Ministry of Justice issued the decree on Wednesday to release the accounts of Habib al-Adly, the Mubarak-era minister of interior who was sentenced to life in prison for conspiring to kill protesters during the January 25 revolution, according to al-Araby al-Jadeed's Egypt correspondent, Tarek Negmeddin.

      Adly has been acquitted of killing protesters and corruption [Getty]
Adly, who has long seen as by many Egyptians has the figurehead of the systematic police brutality that was one of the main catalysts for the revolution, had his life sentence overturned and was released from prison in March after being acquitted of corruption charges.

But Wednesday's decree has done the opposite for one of the country's most beloved sportsmen.

Retired footballer Mohammad Aboutrika's funds have now been seized after an appeal against a previous decision to freeze the former Egyptian national team star's assets was lodged in May.

The 37-year-old attacking midfielder - who scored 40 goals for Egypt - publicly supported ousted Islamist president and Brotherhood leader Mohammad Morsi in the 2012 elections, and pro-government media have repeatedly accused him of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Aboutrika's fans quickly took to social media express their outrage the decision.

"When Aboutrika's funds are confiscated and the corrupt former minister of interior's are unfrozen, it confirms that a military coup really did happen and that you're standing on the right side," said Mohammad Mostafa on Facebook.

Algerian TV anchor Ania al-Afandi said that "honourable people always pay the price".

Mohammad Omran shared an image of an elderly man dressed in traditional clothing with the sarcastic caption: "On the same day that this criminal was arrested for selling tissues on a street corner in violation of the law, a court unfroze the funds of the honourable freedom-fighter Adly."