Egypt sentences blacklisted former football star Aboutrika to prison

Egypt sentences blacklisted former football star Aboutrika to prison
2 min read
13 November, 2018
An Egyptian court has sentenced a blacklisted former football star to one year in prison for tax fraud in the latest move to punished the exiled popular figure.

Aboutrika is one of the most successful African footballers of his generation [Getty]

An Egyptian court has sentenced a blacklisted former football star to one year in prison in absentia for alleged tax fraud, in the latest move against the popular figure.

The misdemeanour court handed down the sentence in absentia to Mohammed Aboutrika on Monday for allegedly failing to pay $39,500 in taxes from advertising deals, state-owned al-Ahram reported.

The sentence is the latest move by Egyptian authorities targeting Aboutrika, who publicly endorsed the presidential bid of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi in 2012.

In May, he was placed on a "terror list" for an additional five years over accusations he financed the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

He denies ever having funded the Islamist movement, although thousands of people linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and pro-democracy activists have been detained by Egypt.

Aboutrika has been on the list - which includes the leaders of the Brotherhood - since January 2017, and is subject to a travel ban, with his passport and assets liable to be frozen by the government.

In 2015, a government committee froze the assets of Aboutrika, who once played for Cairo-based football club al-Ahly and Egypt's national team.

The ex-footballer now lives in exile in Qatar and makes a living as a football pundit on the Doha-based sports channel beIN Sports.

Aboutrika was one of the most successful African footballers of his generation, and remains a hugely popular figure in Egypt.