Zamalek Club President Mortada Mansour heatedly attacked iconic footballer Mohamed Salah over photos circulated of the footballer with Egyptian Satirist Bassem Youssef. Youssef posted images of the two of them together at the GQ Middle East Men of the Year awards ceremony.
“Why would you take photos with Bassem Youssef who offended your country? And with the terrorist Abou Treika as well?” Mansour said during his phone interview with Egyptian sports presenter Mohamed Ghandour on his program “Al-Zamalek Al-Yom” (Zamalek Today) of “AlHadath Alyoum” (What Happened Today) satellite channel.
“Did you forget yourself? Egypt is behind your current popularity in Liverpool and was previously when you were in Rome,” he added furiously.
Salah was recognized at the GQ Middle East Men of the Year Awards in a ceremony hosted by famed satirist Youssef in the UAE on Monday, October 7. Salah won the overall award for Man of the Year.
Known for his irresistible sense of humor, Youssef introduced Salah while displaying funny photos of the Egyptian footballer, prompting all the attendees to cry laughing.
Youssef is a famed satirist, known as Egypt’s John Stewart for his presence on the satirical program Al-Bernameg, which poked fun at the Egyptian government and many public figures. Youssef announced in 2013 that he would seek a safer environment abroad, and Al-Bernameg would be off the air for good. Youssef is currently based with his family in the US, where he has been since 2014. His comedy career is thriving.
The Egyptian government placed former Footballer Mohamed Abou Treika on its terrorist list twice over the past two years (in 2017 and 2018) for alleged links with the Muslim Brotherhood. Thus Abou Treika is barred from returning to his homeland and now lives in Qatar working in sports commentary.
In the same phone interview, Mansour expressed his rage over Salah’s behavior of late, claiming that many former fans are becoming angry with him. He alleged that Salah wants to rise above his fellow players on the national team, reflected by his recent demands.
“Salah you’re losing your popularity with time, and the excessive support of the Egyptian Football Association is behind your arrogance,” Mansour mentioned.
It was not the first time for Salah to get caught up in Mansour’s stormy waters. Last February, Mansour vigorously attacked the celebrated footballer over a tweet criticizing the conflicts between the administrations of Egypt’s two main clubs Ahly and Zamalek. The conflict went viral on social media earlier this year.
Salah tweeted, “I just can’t believe how fans of Egypt’s two biggest football teams are cursing each other all the time on social media.”
“I tell Mohamed Salah: mind Liverpool. Stay away from us. Stay away from this issue. You do not live with us, eat our food or drink our drink,” Mansour said in televised comments in response to Salah’s tweet.
Salah is also a back-to-back golden boot winner. He scored 32 Premier League goals last season, making it to the finals. He was selected as the PFA Player of the Year ahead of Manchester City title-winner Kevin De Bruyne.