Russia 2018: Here is why Egypt Goalkeeper El-Shenawy refused to accept the man of the match award

By Mutala Yakubu
Egypt Goalkeeper El-Shenawy
Egypt Goalkeeper El-Shenawy

Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy refused to accept the man of the match award for his heroics against Uruguay, snubbing the accolade because of its sponsors, alcohol giant Budweiser.

El-Shenawy, 29, produced a string of stunning saves to keep the Uruguayans at bay for much of the two teams’ World Cup Group A game, until Jose Gimenez broke the Pharaohs' resistance in the 89th minute.

The Egypt stopper was given the man of the match award for his display, which comes in the form of a red goblet emblazoned with the logo of World Cup sponsors Budweiser.

However, El-Shenawy was seen shunning the award when offered it after the game, rejecting it due to his Muslim beliefs which mean he does not drink alcohol.

‘The King Of Beers’ is a ubiquitous presence at World Cup stadiums, having signed with FIFA as the official alcohol supplier to the tournament. It is sold outside and inside the venues, as well as at the Fan Fest zones.

Egypt are among seven Muslim-majority nations at the World Cup, with the others being Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iran, Tunisia, Senegal and Nigeria.

El-Shenawy is the first player from one of those nations to win the award, and it remains to be seen how others will approach the issue should be they receive the coveted prize.

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Other teams contain big-name players who are devout Muslims, such as Germany’s Mesut Ozil and France’s Paul Pogba.

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