Egypt adds former footballer to terror list for links to Muslim Brotherhood

Mohamed Aboutrika

Egyptian authorities have added former footballing star Mohamed Aboutrika to a terror list for his alleged links with the Muslim Brotherhood, his lawyer says.

Mr Aboutrika has been accused of financially supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood, which Egyptian authorities have classified a terrorist organisation.

In 2012, he supported the successful presidential campaign of Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood member.

The decision by the 2008 BBC African Footballer of the Year upset some of his fans.

Any person listed on the country’s terror list is subject to a travel ban and can potentially face having their passport seized and assets frozen.

Mr Aboutrika’s lawyer, Mohamed Osman, said the decision was “contrary to the law”, adding that his client had “not been convicted or formally notified of any of the charges against him”.

“We will appeal this decision,” Mr Osman added. Mr Aboutrika has strenuously denied the allegations.

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A former star of Cairo’s al-Ahly club and the national team, Mr Aboutrika was known as “The Magician”, “The Saint” and “The Prince of Hearts” during his footballing career.

But his decision to publicly support Morsi – the country’s first democratically elected president – split opinion.

In 2015, he had a number of assets, including shares in a string of companies, seized by the Egyptian authorities.

The army’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood members, left thousands of people dead and many more in prison.

Morsi was ousted via a military coup led by the current president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi following days of mass anti-government protests in 2013.

Mr Aboutrika, one of the most successful African footballers of his generation, retired from football in 2013.

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