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Egyptian goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy turned down his Man of the Match trophy yesterday, because the award's alcoholic sponsors are at odds with his religion.
According to Marwan Ahmed, who works for Egyptian sports page KingFut, El-Shenawy refused the award because it's sponsored by Budweiser and being Muslim his religion forbids him from drinking alcohol.
.@FIFAcom have a deal with @Budweiser for the #ManoftheMatch award. Being alcohol, there are 3 North African nations + Saudi & Iran in the @FIFAWorldCup. Did they not think these guys won't accept the award? #EGY 's @Melshenawy did not take his today. pic.twitter.com/750OOyFaw0
- Marwan Ahmed (@MarwanAhmed_KF) June 16, 2018
The trophy doesn't contain alcohol but is shaped like a goblet and has Budweiser as its official sponsor.
Ahmed took to Twitter to share a snap of the goalie refusing to pick up the award, while a man stands awkwardly holding it out to him, asking whether FIFA should have foreseen the problem given that a number of majority-Muslim countries - including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Senegal - are in the competition this year.
High profile players such as France's Paul Pogba and Germany's Mesut Ozil are also Muslim and might not want to accept an award that's so heavily associated with booze.
Egypt lost 1-0 to Uruguay in yesterday's game after an 89th minute goal from Jose Gimenez, however, El-Shenawy worked his arse off in the game, making him a truly worthy recipient of the title of Man of the Match - regardless of whether he chooses to pick up the trophy or not.
The team had to face Uruguay without their star player Mo Salah, who is recovering from an injury sustained in Liverpool's Champions League final match against Real Madrid.
Fans are hopeful he will be able to return to the pitch for Egypt's next game against hosts Russia.
Coach Hector Cuper said: "As for Salah, it is probable that he will play. He didn't play because we wanted to avoid risks. He will be fine for the next match.
"Salah is an important player but we need to have a good team. If he had been on the pitch the result might have been different."
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