Bayern Munich's Rafinha apologizes for Gulf Arab ‘bomber’ Halloween costume

A picture tweeted by German football club Bayern Munich showing Rafinha dressed as a Gulf Arab “bomber” at the club’s Halloween party has prompted anger on social media. (Screenshot: Twitter/@FCBayern)
Updated 01 November 2018
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Bayern Munich's Rafinha apologizes for Gulf Arab ‘bomber’ Halloween costume

  • Picture tweeted on Bayern Munich's official Twitter feed sparked outrage
  • Image was deleted by the club four hours after it was posted

LONDON: Bayern Munich's right-back Rafinha has apologized for attending the club's Halloween party dressed as a Gulf Arab “bomber” after an image tweeted on the club's official Twitter account prompted anger. 

Posting on his own offficial account, the Brazilian said: "Halloween is a scary feast with exaggerated costumes, it was not my intention to annoy anyone through my costume or to hurt anyone's feelings."

Rafinha's previous apology tweet saw the player post a picture of him wearing the traditional dress in question. (Twitter: @R13_official)

Several members of the Bayern Munich squad, including David Alaba, Niklas Sule and Sandro Wagner, appeared in the original picture in different costumes, including Rafinha in traditional Arab dress holding a box labeled “Vorsicht” — German for “caution.”

His inclusion in the picture, which was deleted by the club four hours after it was posted, sparked a backlash on Twitter, with many criticizing the choice of dress.
It is likely to cause embarrassment for the German giants, especially considering Gulf airline Qatar Airways is one of the club’s main sponsors.
“This is sick... not all Arabs bombers, it looks funny for you but you dont know how you are effecting others (sic),” one tweet read.
Another Twitter user said: “Yikes. Toss this club in the bin and start over again,” while a different tweet demanded an apology from the club.

Bayern Munich has many fans in the Middle East and runs an Arabic-language Twitter profile that has 187,000 followers.


Egypt’s retired football star sentenced to 1 year in prison

Updated 13 November 2018
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Egypt’s retired football star sentenced to 1 year in prison

  • Egypt froze Aboutrika’s assets in 2015 and placed him on a no-fly list in 2017 over allegations of links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood
  • Cairo misdemeanor court said Aboutrika failed to pay 710,000 Egyptian pounds in taxes on income from ad deals

CAIRO: An Egyptian court sentenced Mohamed Aboutrika, one of the country’s greatest all-time football players, to a year in prison for tax evasion while also giving him the option to pay a fine of 20,000 Egyptian pounds, or $1,115, to have the sentence suspended.
The verdict, handed down on Monday by the Cairo misdemeanor court, was delivered in absentia.
Aboutrika, who has lived since his 2013 soccer retirement in exile in Qatar, where he works as a sports analyst for the beIN sports network, could not be reached for comment.
Under the law, the verdict can be appealed and if Aboutrika returns to Egypt, he would have to stand a new trial.
The court said Aboutrika failed to pay 710,000 Egyptian pounds — about $39,500 — in taxes on income from advertising deals with carbonated drink and telecommunications companies in 2008 and 2009.
Egypt froze Aboutrika’s assets in 2015 and placed him on a no-fly list in 2017 over allegations of links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which authorities have labelled a terrorist organization.
The Brotherhood emerged as the country’s dominant political force after Egypt’s 2011 Arab Spring uprising but was later purged in 2013, when the army, led by general-turned-president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi overthrew Muhammad Mursi, the country’s first freely elected but divisive president.
Aboutrika played for Cairo’s Al-Ahly club and was central to two of Egypt’s three straight African Cup of Nations titles in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Those triumphs made Egypt Africa’s most successful team with a record seven titles.
Aboutrika was dubbed “Prince of Hearts” and “The Magician” by his football fans.
But he also openly sympathized with the Brotherhood and publicly endorsed Mursi in his successful presidential run in 2012, a year after the overthrow of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Egyptian pro-government media now refer to Aboutrika as a traitor but he still enjoys huge support from his football fans in the country.
Aboutrika has repeatedly denied ever funding the Islamists, who have been the main target of a fierce government crackdown on dissent led by current President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.