Just when we thought it couldn’t get worse.
A couple of Egyptian football players will be facing a year-long ban, as well as paying a fine for partaking in unauthorised interviews with a Saudi state channel. The players allegedly accepted $5,000 for these interviews.
According to Al Ahram, representatives from the Saudi networks snuck into the players’ rooms a day before the Egypt-Russia match to conduct these interviews. Hany Abu Rida—president of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA)— clarifies that partaking in unofficial interviews is a violation to the EFA’S sponsorship deals.
“I instructed Ihab Lehita, [Egypt’s team director], to take a firm stance over the interviews that were done for a satellite television channel,” Abu Rida said on Tuesday.
Consequently, Mido—Egypt’s renowned football player—took to social media to express his concern with the penalties.
قرار اتحاد الكرة بفتح تحقيق بشأن تقاضي بعض اللاعبين اموالا مقابل عمل لقائات تليفزيونيه من داخل معسكر المنتخب ومعاقبة هؤلا اللاعبين هو قرار جيد جدا ولكن أليس من العدل ان يشمل هذا التحقيق مدير المنتخب ورئيس البعثة وسؤالهم عن كيف تمت هذه اللقائات دون علمهم؟— Mido (@midoahm) July 4, 2018
In English: “The decision of of the EFA to investigate and impose sanctions on the players involved is a great decision, but wouldn’t it also be fair to include the team’s director to ask them how these meetings were secretly conducted?”
This season has been a letdown for all Egyptian football fans, as this news follows the recent loss we faced in the World Cup after a 28-year gap.
The national team are now searching for a new coach to replace ex-coach Hector Cuper.