Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 30 September 2020

Egypt’s prosecutor to investigate missing trophy saga

Disappearance of silverware from Egypt’s hat-trick of African Cup of Nations victories prompted storm of speculation on social media

Algeria's Riyad Mahrez kisses the trophy after winning the 2019 African Cup of Nations final in Cairo. AP
Algeria's Riyad Mahrez kisses the trophy after winning the 2019 African Cup of Nations final in Cairo. AP

Egypt’s top prosecutor has ordered an investigation into the disappearance of the trophy that the country kept after winning the African Cup of Nations for a third consecutive time in 2010.

The sports ministry on Wednesday said it referred the matter of the missing cup to the prosecutor general.

"The Ministry of Youth and Sports has referred the file of the loss of some important silverware from the warehouses of the Egyptian Football Association to the prosecutor general," it said on its Facebook page.

The investigation was launched last week when celebrated former national goalkeeper Ahmed Shobair said the EFA found the gold trophy had gone missing, along with awards from earlier tournaments.

Officials were preparing to open a museum of Egypt's football memorabilia in time for the EFA's centenary when the loss was discovered, Shobair said on his popular talk show.

Before it disappeared, the cup was kept inside the headquarters of the Egyptian Football Federation in Nile-side neighbourhood in central Cairo.

There has been no word on who might have taken the cup. The federation has not reported a break-in, suggesting that it could have been an inside job.

A seven-time African champion, Egypt has not won the biennial African Cup of Nations since 2010.

The competition was held again in Egypt last year, when the Pharaohs were beaten in the second round.

Two years earlier, the Egyptians finished runners-up to Cameroon.

News of the cup’s disappearance started a storm on social media, with wild speculation on possible culprits and the motives behind the apparent theft.

The federation has been run by a five-member committee since its elected board stepped down last year after the Pharaohs’ humiliating exit from the African cup.

Updated: September 10, 2020 12:18 AM

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