Egyptian football club al-Ahly has banned its star striker from taking part in the FIFA Club World Cup for making a pro-Muslim Brotherhood gesture after scoring in its win at the Africa Champions League final, local media reported on Tuesday.
The club’s board may also impose a financial penalty on Ahmed Abdel-Zaher, who scored the second goal in al-Ahly’s 2-0 win over Orlando Pirates of South Africa on Sunday, independent newspaper Al-Shorouk reported.
The Egyptian Football Association is also due to investigate Abdel-Zaher, the report said.
The striker celebrated his goal by raising his hand in a four-fingered salute that has become a symbol of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsy.
The gesture refers to the Rabaa al-Adawiya protest site in Cairo, where Egyptian security forces killed hundreds in August as they dispersed Morsy supporters who had camped there for seven weeks.
A photograph that appears to be showing Abdel-Zaher holding a banner at the protest has been widely circulated on social media amid controversy over his gesture.
On Sunday, the Egyptian Kung Fu Association said it had slapped a one-year suspension on Egyptian champion Mohammed Youssef after he opened his jacket to show a T-shirt with the Rabaa symbol while receiving a gold medal at an international championship in Russia.