Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lawsuit against Egyptian soccer star for "normalization"

From Al Arabiya (Arabic) (h/t for initial translation Ali)

Famous Egyptian lawyer, Nabih Al Wahsh, filed a lawsuit demanding that Egyptian soccer player Emad Moteab be stripped of his citizenship because of "normalization."

Moteab joined Belgian soccer club Standard Liège, whose squad includes Rami Gershon, an Israeli soccer player. Moteab signed the contract without any reservation over the fact that there is an Israeli, which created an "unprecedented situation."

The lawyer goes on to argue that Motaeb knowingly joined the Belgian team despite Egyptian hatred for Israel.

Motaeb is very popular in Egypt, having scored a last-minute goal against Algeria to bring Egypt close to World Cup competition last November.

Al Arabiya quotes a prominent Egyptian scholar Gamma al-Banna (brother of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, but considered much more liberal) who said that there is nothing wrong with Motaeb being on the same team as Gershon, as long as he doesn't become friends with him. Hatred for Israel is a given, he says, but asking him to not be on a team with an Israeli is going a little bit too far.

The newspaper does bring up the question of whether the Egyptian should refrain from hugging the Israeli when a goal is scored.