Egypt seizes assets of football icon linked to Brotherhood


Cairo – Egyptian authorities have decided to confiscate the assets of former celebrated footballer, Mohammed Abou Trika, for alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood, privately owned newspaper Al Watan reported on Friday.

Egypt’s central bank started taking steps to seize Abou Trika’s property and money in banks after investigations revealed that he set up a tourism firm financing the Muslim Brotherhood to which deposed president Mohammed Morsi belongs, according to the report.

There was no immediate official comment.

In response to the report, Abou Trika, known for backing Morsi, said he would not leave Egypt.

“We are the ones who earn money to keep in our hands, not in our hearts. Whether you seize money or anyone else, I will not leave the country and I’ll continue to work in it and for its prosperity,” the 36-year-old wrote on his official website.

Abou Trika played for years in al-Ahly, leading the prominent Cairo-based team to clinch several local and regional trophies.

He was also instrumental in Egypt’s two consecutive wins of the prestigious African Cup of Nations in 2006 and 2008.

He is popular in Egypt and the Arab world.

In mid-2013, the army toppled Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, following mass protests against his rule.

The government has blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and put hundreds of its leaders, including Morsi, on trial.