An Egypt team official has confirmed goalkeeper Mohamed Elshenawy declined to receive a player of the match trophy at the World Cup for religious reasons. The trophy, an artistic red goblet, is sponsored by Budweiser. Islam prohibits the consumption of alcohol.
Egypt team director Ihab Leheta told The Associated Press on Sunday that Elshenawy said a “few words” and posed for photos in a brief ceremony, but did not take the goblet. He gave no other details.
The 29-year-old Elshenawy won the award following his impressive performance in the 1-0 loss to Uruguay on Friday. He made a string of stunning saves before Uruguay clinched the win with a goal in the 89th minute.
Images of Elshenawy gesturing what appears to be a rejection of the trophy held by a young Budweiser representative in the stadium’s tunnel appeared on social and mainstream media. Budweiser is among FIFA’s top sponsors.
Egypt, in the World Cup for the first time in 28 years, is one of five countries competing here with a Muslim majority population. The others are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Morocco and Tunisia.