Egyptian goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy was almost perfect against Uruguay on Friday. He made save after save for 89 minutes of the match, until Jose Gimenez managed to get one through and Egypt lost to Uruguay 1-0.
Despite the one missed save, El-Shenawy’s performance earned him the coveted Man of the Match award for his incredible performance. However, according to Twitter user Marwan Ahmed, who works for the Egyptian sports site KingFut, El-Shenawy refused to accept the award — which is sponsored by Budweiser —because he is Muslim. Ahmed even managed to snap a photo of El-Shenawy politely turning down the award while a the guy who was trying to give it to him stands there awkwardly, not knowing what to do.
.@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
There was no alcohol actually in the award, and El-Shenawy didn’t have to drink any Budweiser to accept it (though the award is in the shape of a goblet). But since his religion forbids the consumption of alcohol, he elected not to accept the award because it was sponsored by a beer brand.
Egypt is a majority Muslim country, so not only are their laws on alcohol sales strict, drinking alcohol is generally not accepted. There are four other World Cup countries with similar attitudes on alcohol due to Islamic dietary laws: Senegal, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. As Ahmed pointed out, any Man of the Match winners from those countries might also refuse the award.
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