Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – The English Squash Association announced on Friday that former world number one Mohamed El Shorbagy has won his first match since his decision to represent England instead of Egypt.
The Federation said through its Twitter account: “Congratulations to Mohamed El-Shorbagy, who qualified for the final of the Mauritius Open after his victory over Egyptian Tariq Moamen.”
The announcement that Al-Shorbagy will play in the name of England caused a sensation in Egypt on Monday and raised the issue of “naturalization of Egyptian players”, which has been raised several times over the past few years, with the announcement. of the transfer of loyalty of some Egyptian players to other countries.
And the English Squash Association published an interview with the 31-year-old player via Twitter at the time, in which he said: “I am excited to represent England, I have lived in it for more than half my life. ”
On the other hand, the Egyptian Squash Federation responded to El-Shorbagy’s announcement, in a statement carried by the Egyptian media, describing El-Shorbagy as “an avid and talented player of a sports family with a special interest in squash. “
He added, “Mohamed received his education abroad and chose to live especially in England in Bristol, where he completed his secondary education and then university, and during this period (since 2013) he was called to Egypt in the representing world championships for men., and he had several excuses in this regard. “
He continued, “The player receives many financial contributions from the Egyptian Federation in accordance with the regulations and ministerial decisions issued by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in recent years, as well as the payment of annual membership fees to the Professional Players’ Organization PSA The player was honored by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and received the First Class Sports Medal on January 1, 2018.
The union’s statement read: “Because his younger brother Marwan Al-Shorbagy was always quick in his presence with the national team, and the team won championships, the last of which was in France 2017, first place, and in different periods the player asked for help from the union, for example when he lost his passport in Hong Kong in December 2015.
The federation said: “The player continued to live in England until he reached the age of reconciliation to obtain a final exemption from military service because he did not perform military service after his graduation. She must for the English national team and he was expected to represent England at any upcoming event. “
The Federation confirmed: “Egypt has many talented players, as evidenced by the presence of 6 Egyptian players among the top 10 players in the world in the international classification. They are all professionals, and each professional player has his personal beliefs, such as he depends on his income on his financial prices. “
Heliopolis Sports Club also announced in a statement that its board of directors had decided, after reviewing the terms of the contract between the club and the player, to “terminate the player’s contract, Mohamed El Shorbagy, and join the federation speak to preserve the club’s contract. right.”
In an interview with BBC Arabic, Mohamed El-Shorbagy expressed his concern about facing Egyptian players or taking part in tournaments in Egypt, saying: “There is definitely some concern, but he said: “The supporters did not harm me, but rather it was some individuals who treated me in an unfair way.” Well”.
He said that “the decision took me 3 or 4 months, my mind told me one thing, and my heart told me something else,” adding: “This decision will help me keep my remaining years on a high. level in the game. “
He said: “For many years, no one thought, the time must have come to think of myself. I was very upset when I was at Cairo airport every time I came to Egypt and found them proud of the photos of Egyptian players at the airport, and I’m the only player who does not have a photo. ” “.
He added: “Imagine I did not have an Egyptian sponsor during my sporting career, I won 44 championships, as the most Egyptian in history to win professional championships, and I was at the top of the world rankings for 50 months remained for players, as the most Egyptian in history who ascended the throne of squash, and it never occurred to me that an Egyptian sponsor had come to me to this day. “
He said: “But in England they believed in my ability to come back, even when I had a bad season, they came in my worst season in almost my history, at a time when I was not at the top not, and many thought I was done. “
He continued: “I feel upset when I say this, but this support you were supposed to get from your country, and you did not get it, if you have a team behind you that you feel they are honest with you appreciate and that they will give you the support you deserve, unfortunately I had to think of myself. “
And the Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports, Ashraf Sobhi, said in statements to the Egyptian “Sada Al-Balad” channel that Al-Shorbagy’s departure did not grieve him at all, and he welcomed Muhammad Al-Shorbagy “as he think of returning to represent Egypt because it is his country. ”