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Al Ahly’s Ramadan Sobhy denies ‘political’ celebration
17-year-old Ramadan Sobhy, who scored Al Ahly’s winner in the last minutes of the match against Al-Nasr, ran towards a camera while celebrating with a hand gesture that looked like the letter ‘C’, before turning it into a ‘heart-shaped hands’ goal celebration.
Past situations in the Egyptian Premier League have seen players getting punished over political celebrations. Al Ahly striker Ahmed Abdel-Zaher celebrated a goal in the 2013 CAF Champions League final by using a four-fingered ‘Rabaa’ gesture, synonymous with supporters of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, while Salah Amin, formerly of Tala’a El-Gaish, showed the letter ‘C’ on both hands in support to the Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
Al Ahly responded by banning Abdel-Zaher and loaning him out to Libya’s Ittihad, and he was also suspended from representing the Egyptian national team for a year, while Amin’s initial season-long suspension was cut to just three games.
Sobhy, who was interviewed after the game by Al Ahly TV cleared the case, by stating that the first gesture was the number ‘3’ followed by a heart. He then added: “I had bet with 3 of my friends that if I scored I would do the heart celebration and that is why I did it.”
“There was no political intention in that celebration and I tend to keep myself away from politics.”
Al Ahly also came out with an official statement in support of their player and explained his reasoning, denying any political motive.
It is worth mentioning that Al-Nasr fell victim of a late goal by Ramadan Sobhy, which saw them lose to Al Ahly 2-1 in the dying minutes of the game.