Egypt parliament to investigate World Cup failures

Egyptian Members of Parliament, along with the Head of Youth and Sports Committee of the House of Representatives, Mohamed Faraj Amer, have called for a fact-finding committee to be setup to investigate possible violations by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) and suspicions of corruption during the recent 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The intended committee is expected to draft reports of any violations to the House of Representatives in order to take the necessary action, with the various MPs calling on holding the officials of the EFA, including its President Hani Abo Rida, accountable.

Rida was accused by lawyer Tarek Mahmoud of squandering public funds, causing the MPs to appeal yesterday to the Head of Youth and Sports Committee, the speaker of the Parliament, and the Prime Minister to examine the alleged irregularities in EFA’s mission to Russia throughout the World Cup.

The “violations” that have been called into investigation include the incident of a member of the EFA, Magdi Abdelghani, having accompanied the team to Russia despite having been ordered by the Association not to as it accused him of stealing the team’s uniforms.

The committee will also look into why the team was stationed in Grozny, the capital of the Chechen Republic, which is considerably far from the stadiums where the matches were being held, and how numerous actors, actresses, businessmen, and other public figured were allowed to visit the hotel where the players were.

Other incidences that will be investigated include the unauthorised use of team player Mohamed Salah’s image on the outside of the national team’s plane, as well as the EFA’s acceptance of the dinner invitation extended by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.

One of the MPs, Soliman Al-Ameri, filed a statement on the irregularities and called for the committee to investigate the extent of violations which allegedly occurred during the Egyptian team’s stay before the match between Egypt and Russia. He called for all EFA members to be dismissed.

The match between the two country’s football teams, which was one of the first matches to take place around the beginning of the World Cup, resulted in a devastating loss for Egypt which scored only one goal in comparison to Russia’s three. That was not the only match Egypt lost in this year’s World Cup, the team lost all the matches it played.

Head of the Youth and Sports Committee, Mohamed Faraj Amer, blamed the defeats  on the team and its coach, Hector Cuper, as well as “violations” by the EFA and its negative effect on the team.