June 21, 2009
I'll be surprised if this story makes it into al-Gomhuriyya
JOHANNESBURG — In news that, if true, will bring relief to World Cup organizers and embarrassment to the Egyptian soccer team, three South African newspapers reported Sunday that Egypt’s players apparently did not lose their money to robbers but to prostitutes after an historic 1-0 victory over Italy at the Confederations Cup. The accusations were quickly denied by the head of the Egyptian soccer federation. “I think that they said that to divert attention from the main issue, which is security, by creating a scandal for the Egyptian team,” Samir Zahir, the chairman of the Egyptian federation, told The Sunday Independent newspaper. Security has been the hot-button top in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup. The South African police said Friday that Egypt had reported that five team members had their wallets lifted. The amount reportedly was $2,400. The burglary was said to have been discovered after the Egyptian players returned to their hotel rooms following Thursday’s victory over Italy.