Egypt Player Rejects Budweiser-Sponsored World Cup Award

Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy
AP/Vadim Ghirda

Egypt’s devout Muslim goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy declined to receive a player of the match trophy at the FIFA World Cup for religious reasons.

The red goblet-styled trophy is sponsored by American brewer Budweiser. Islam prohibits the consumption of alcohol.

AP reported on Sunday that El-Shenawy said a “few words” and posed for photos in a brief ceremony, but didn’t take the goblet.

Egypt team director Ihab Leheta said there was no policy or set of regulations for members of the all-Muslim squad in Russia regarding their dealings with sponsors or prizes linked to alcohol. “It is up to each one,” he said.

An image released after the game appears to show El-Shenawy waving away the award as he left the pitch and entered the team tunnel.

Egypt are among seven Muslim-majority nations at the World Cup in Russia, 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.

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