Algerian football star Mahrez apologizes for ‘insulting’ Egyptian PM
Algerian football star Riad Mahrez has apologized to the Egyptian people for accidentally ignoring Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly at the closing ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations, which took place in Cairo.
The Manchester City striker, who captained Algeria to victory in the pan-African tournament, said that he did not recognize Madbouly and had intended to shake hands with him but had left the stage because he heard his name being called to receive the cup.
Video uploaded to social media showed Mahrez shaking hands with FIFA president Gianni Infantino and another FIFA official before apparently turning his back on the Egyptian Prime Minister and Minister of Sports and walking off the stage.
This was interpreted as an insult by the Egyptian government and Egyptian lawyer Samir Sabri filed a request with the country’s attorney-general to ban the Manchester City star from entering Egypt again. Mahrez also found himself under attack from Egyptian media.
Speaking at an event honouring him in the Paris suburb of Sarselles on Friday, Mahrez said he had “no problems” with Egyptians.
Mahrez was born in Sarselles in 1991 and signed to Manchester City in 2018, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, and EFL Cup in his first season.