Last updated: 6 March, 2014

No politics on the pitch: Egyptian football player suspended for Sisi sign

Egypt’s football association said on Thursday it suspended a player accused of gesturing in support of the military chief, in violation of rules against political statements by players.

Salah Amin, with the Tala’ea El-Gaish club, is the latest sportsman to be punished for making a political gesture, after the Al Ahly club suspended a player last November for a pro-Islamist salute.

Egypt has been sharply polarised between supporters of the military and those of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, deposed by the army in July.

Amin shaped the finger and thumb of each hand into the letter “C” after scoring a goal. Sisi’s surname is often written as “C.C” in graffiti.

The association said he would be suspended for the rest of the season and fined 20,000 Egyptian pounds ($2,900).

Amin denied he was making a “C.C” gesture, telling state television he was mimicking pressing an aerosol can of the type used in some Egyptian celebrations.

“I don’t know anything about politics,” he said.

“He doesn’t know anything,” concurred his former coach, also being interviewed on the state television show.

Egypt’s kung fu association also banned a player after he made a pro-Islamist salute.

The four finger gesture refers to a pro-Morsi protest camp in which hundreds died in clashes with police last year.