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AFCON 2019: Riyad Mahrez in trouble after snubbing Prime Minister in closing ceremony
Riyad Mahrez could be banned from entering Egypt after snubbing Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhy, in the closing ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 tournament.
Mahrez received the trophy from CAF president Ahmad Ahmad in the presence of the FIFA president Gianni Infantino and two Egyptian government officials, during the award ceremony.
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Following the Desert Foxes' big win over Senegal in Cairo, the Manchester City winger shook hands with FIFA president Gianni Infantino before turning his back on the Egyptian PM and Sports minister.
A section of fans raised the question on whether the snub was intentional or accidental though the majority of observers were inclined to believing the former.
According to Middle East Monitor, Egyptian lawyer Sami Sabri asked Attorney General Nabil Ahmed Sadiq to put Mahrez on a list of people who are not allowed entry to Egypt.
Meanwhile, football fans took to social media to share their mixed reactions over the incident, with a large number of fans seemingly supporting his stand against the Egyptian regime.
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On another hand, some fans were of the view that Mahrez could have simply gotten carried away by his excitement to lift the cup and simply forgot to shake the Prime Minister's hand.
The replay, however, showed a moment just after the Algerian skipper shook Infantino's hand, were he glances at the Prime Minister before turning away to lift the cup.
Also on the list of people banned from Egypt — and possibly why people thought Mahrez may have ignored Egyptian officials — is African football legend Mohamed Aboutrika.
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Aboutrika helped his country win the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006 and 2008, and is widely considered Egypt's greatest ever player, with stars like Mohamed Salah looking up to him as a mentor.
The Egyptian footballer landed in trouble with authorities after a video circulated in which he announced his support for Mohamed Morsi in the 2012 presidential elections.
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Following his public stand, Aboutrika's name was placed on a terror list of people accused of allegedly financing the Muslim Brotherhood and now lives in exile in Qatar.
Algerians chanted Aboutrika's name and waved banners as they showed support for the former Al Ahly player throughout the tournament, and more so after beating Nigeria in the semis.
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