Previous Post
Go! Save the Hostages!
Next Post
Venus as a Boy: Fool's Gold

Two - Nil, Four Fingers?

Egypt's football fans and commentators alike are in uproar over winning scorer Ahmed Abdelzaher's #R4BIA gesture after his goal.

As you all know, yesterday was the African Champions League final and yes, Al-Ahly won again, setting yet another record and giving Egyptians a reason to be happy when everything else only seem to disappoint us. 

But even this triumphant football tale had to involve politics. Naturally. In the 78th minute, as Al-Ahly striker, Ahmed Abdelzaher, scored the second and winning goal that made sure the cup was ours, he celebrated by doing the famous – or infamous – Raba’a, four-finger hand gesture. This raised hell at the end of the match, with people demanded that he be penaliised for his actions. TV presenter Ahmed Moussa, famous for his long sighs after reading poems about El-Sisi, even threatened to boycott Al-Ahly until they take actions against the striker. Taher Abou Zeid, Egypt’s Sports Minister, said: "Ahly's Champions League triumph is bigger than AbdelZaher's sign. This does not matter, what matters is that Ahly won the title."

Will Al-Ahly actually take this seriously and penalise the player for celebrating his match-winning goal? Will they actually go as far as ban him from playing, like our world champion Kung Fu player who celebrated his gold medal last month by showing off his R4BIA shirt, or will they let it slide because football is more important than any other sport here?

More importantly, when will we start being tolerant of other peoples' right to freely express themselves, even if they believe in things which we don't agree with?

***UPDATE*** Ahmed Abdelzaher has indeed been suspended and has had his salary put on hold.