Egypt kung fu ace 'loses medal over Morsi'

Officials deny turning against kung fu champion Mohamed Youssef for showing support for deposed President Morsi.

    Youssef was shown in Russia wearing a T-shirt with a symbol commemorating the pro-Morsi protest camp [EPA]
    Youssef was shown in Russia wearing a T-shirt with a symbol commemorating the pro-Morsi protest camp [EPA]

    The family of an Egyptian kung fu champion says he has been banned from representing the country and stripped of his medal after he showed support for deposed President Mohamed Morsi during a tournament in Russia.

    The government, however, has denied taking retaliatory action against Mohamed Youssef.

    In a photo on the state-run Al-Ahram website, Youssef was shown on stage in St Petersburg, Russia, holding his medal and wearing a T-shirt with a symbol commemorating the pro-Morsi protest camp that was crushed by security forces on August 14, leaving hundreds dead.

    The army overthrew Morsi on July 3 and installed an interim government.

    It has since launched a security crackdown on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, arresting more than 2,000 members, including Morsi and other senior leaders.

    Security forces have killed hundreds of Morsi supporters.

    Youssef's brother Hamem told Reuters news agency that he had been removed from a list of eligible kung-fu players in the sport's national federation, and told he could not represent Egypt in future tournaments.

    Mohamed Youssef himself was not immediately available for comment.

    When asked about the case, Taher Abu Zeid, the sports minister, said Youssef had not been barred from representing Egypt, although he did not mention the medal or the federation.

    Zeid told Reuters that he had asked the ministry to conduct an investigation into the incident, but added that if the sportsman had displayed the yellow four-fingered "Rabaa" hand symbol "it was a wrong way to conduct himself".

    SOURCE: Reuters


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