Kadyrov grants 'citizen of honor' title to Egypt forward

Kadyrov grants 'citizen of honor' title to Egypt forward
Ramzan Kadyrov

Kadyrov made Mohamed Salah, a forward for Liverpool and the Egyptian national team, a Chechen citizen of honor. The City of Grozny organized a celebratory supper for Egyptian football players after a prayer at the Serdtse Chechny (‘Chechnya's Heart’) Mosque.

Kadyrov made Mohamed Salah, a forward for the Egyptian national team, a Chechen citizen of honor. Kadyrov signed a document ordering to make Mohamed Salah a Chechen citizen of honor and published information about it on his Telegram channel.

“Mohamed Salah is a Chechen citizen of honor! That's right! I signed a document ordering to make Mohamed Salah, a forward for the Egyptian national team and Liverpool, a Chechen citizen of honor,” the Chechnya head wrote. Kadyrov said that Salah received a copy of the document and a chest pin during the supper held for the Egyptian national team.

The Egyptian national team visiting Chechnya helped keep locals excited about football, Kadyrov noted. “Thousands of people, youngsters and elders, were able to see one of the best (football) players and talk to him. Interest for football skyrocketed in Chechnya despite it having always been popular here,” Kadyrov wrote.

Salah personally thanked him for the warm welcome and excellent living and training conditions he and his team received, according to Kadyrov.

“I am confident that our Akhmat club and the Egyptian national team will play a friendly match one day,” Kadyrov said.

The Egyptian national team's base for the 2018 World Cup was established in Grozny. Chechnya authorities pay a lot of attention to the fact that the Egyptian national team is in Chechnya. For example, Kadyrov attended an open training session of the Egyptian national team at the Akhmat Arena Stadium on June 10. Kadyrov entered the field with Salah who could not participate in the training session due to an injury. “Mohamed Salah is the best football player in the world and an ideal human being,” Kadyrov said during a meeting with journalists, according to Sport-Ekspress.

The Egyptian national team participated in the June 22 Friday prayer at the Serdtse Chechny Mosque held by Salakh-Khadzhi Mezhiev, the Chief Chechnya Mufti. The celebratory supper organized by Kadyrov was held afterward, RIA Novosti reported.

Meanwhile, human rights activists criticized the Egyptian national team for visiting Chechnya. When commenting on photos of Salah and Kadyrov, Rachel Denber, the Deputy Director of Europe and Central Asia Division of Human Rights Watch, said that Kadyrov is using Egyptian football players to boost his reputation. “This is Kadyrov trying to capitalize on Chechnya being a team base to boost his own profile... it was 100 per cent predictable,” Denber said.

Kadyrov refuted her accusations. “I did not invite either Mohamed Salah or the Egyptian national team. We simply created conditions they needed, and they chose Chechnya. If you have questions, ask them to FIFA and UEFA, not me,” Chechnya Segodnya quoted Kadyrov as saying.

The Russian national team won 3:1 against the Egyptian national team and made it into the 2018 World Cup playoffs.

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