Mohamed Abou-treika whose accomplishments as a humanitarian are as luminous as his accomplishments on the soccer pitch announced his retirement from his beloved Al Ahly club. He was joined by fellow icons Emad Moteab and Mohamed Barakat, all stalwarts of the club as they made their announcement on Ahly TV.
Abou-treika was specially shaken up by the violence as he saw a fan die in front of him in locker room.
Manuel Jose, Al Ahly's Portugese coach added to the deepening gloom by reportedly terminating his contract. He returned to Portugal and gives a harrowing account of what happened to him.
"I was beaten with fists and kicks to the neck, head and feet. [In the dressing room] I saw our fans die before us and we were unable to do anything. Nothing happened to any of the players but we feel overwhelming sadness and the return flight was made in silence, full of respect for the lives of our fans who died."
The deaths of so many, the loss of their popular coach, the retirement of three talismans, will surely sadden the hearts of many Al Ahly fans. A heavy price to pay for their part in the revolution. But they and the club will survive this tragedy, as painful as it maybe. It will take time to heal the wounds inflicted on Egypt's and Africa's most iconic side. In that context, good on Liverpool to lend their support to a fellow club in distress.
In the meantime, Egypt could also face suspension from a self-righteous FIFA and their clubs banned from further international competition. Sepp Blatter is doing his best outraged blathering from his soap box.
I leave you with Abou-treika's philosophy:
"Every athlete has a humanitarian role in society. He doesn't live solely for himself, but for others too. I like to participate in charity work and try my best to help the poor and penniless. I'm also seeking to use soccer in humanitarian work."