Saturday, 24 January 2009

Not About Beckham, but Aboutreika

I was about to search and write something about David Beckham and my favourite club Manchester United when I received one email in my mail box about Mohamed Abou Trika or Mohamed Aboutreika who plays as a playmaker and attacking midfielder for Egyptian club Al-Ahly as well as the Egyptian national football team.

What's special about him is that back in 2008, after scoring a goal during Al Ahly’s 3-0 victory against Sudan, he lifted his jersey to reveal a T-shirt that read, “Sympathise with Gaza”.

"He was given a yellow card for breaking FIFA's rule against displaying political slogans during play, and was said to face possible further sanctions, but finally CAF made no punishments."

"Aboutreika initially did not want to discuss the issue, but he broke his silence and spoke exclusively Al Jazeera's Carrie Brown. He said that his action was a personal statement from himself, as he feels quite sympathy with children of Gaza Strip who are under siege, he feels sorry for their starving and suffering, and has many worries about their safety. Aboutreika affirmed for the Egyptian Football Federation that he is responsible for any problems appearing on surface."

"Some Arab commentators describes this yellow card as a 'honourable punishment' for any athlete. In Gaza, Palestinian people went out, raising Aboutreika's photos thanking him and appreciating his act. The same scene was replied after the final match, when Aboutreika scored the winning goal for Egypt, many Palestinians went out to celebrate the victory and singing for Aboutreika."

"He is a media favourite for treating fans and reporters alike with respect rarely seen in his profession. He follows the Muhammad Ali credo: “I’ll never look down on someone who looks up to me.” Aboutreika makes the people around him feel lifted, instead of cheapened, for loving sports."

After his team won the African Champions League in 2006, the press lavished him with praise. But Aboutreika gently rebuked them, saying, “We need to stop this habit of praising a definite player. It isn’t Aboutreika, but the whole team who got the Cup. Without the others’ efforts, I can’t ever make anything. Football is a game played by many players, it isn’t tennis or squash.”

He has said, “Every athlete has a humanitarian role in society. He doesn’t live solely for himself, but for others too. I like to participate in charity work and try my best to help the poor and penniless. I’m also seeking to use soccer in humanitarian work.”


On Beckham n MU? may be some other time...but one thing, I dont think he looks nice with all those tattoos...hehehe

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