FIFA explains why Egypt’s votes for Salah did not count

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during a match between Chelsea and Liverpool. (Reuters)
Updated 26 September 2019

FIFA explains why Egypt’s votes for Salah did not count

ZURICH: FIFA has explained why votes from Egypt for national star Mohamed Salah did not count in its Best Player ballot where the Liverpool forward placed fourth.
The Egypt football federation questioned why ballot papers on behalf of its national team coach and captain were not included in a FIFA document published after Monday’s ceremony. Lionel Messi won for a sixth time.
Signatures on Egypt’s ballots “were in capital letters and thus seemed not valid (not authentic),” FIFA said Thursday in a statement
FIFA added that “voting forms were also not signed by the (federation) general secretary which is mandatory.”
FIFA noted its voting office is monitored by independent auditors, and confirmed Egypt was first contacted for confirmation of the ballots then “received two reminders to submit the properly signed voting forms on Aug. 19.”
The Egyptian federation was in turmoil in July and August after its leadership resigned due to the national team’s Round of 16 exit at the African Cup of Nations it hosted.
Later in August, FIFA sent an emergency management team to run the Egypt federation.
With other questions about the integrity of some votes, FIFA said it had also cross-checked ballot papers submitted by Nicaragua and Sudan and they were “signed and confirmed with the official stamp” of the soccer federations. The votes submitted were also correctly stated on the FIFA document collating voting preferences.


Saudi esports world cup winner a ‘class’ role model for young players: Gaming chief

Updated 15 November 2019

Saudi esports world cup winner a ‘class’ role model for young players: Gaming chief

  • Prince Faisal said the fast pace of technological advances was changing not only how people lived but their view of sport.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s 2018 FIFA eWorld Cup winner Mosaad Al-Dossary was the kind of role model young players should be looking to emulate, according to the Kingdom’s esports gaming chief.

President of the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronics and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS), Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, told Arab News he was “proud” of Al-Dossary for his esports achievements and for showing “his class as a human being.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum, in Riyadh, the prince said the fast pace of technological advances was changing not only how people lived but their view of sport.

Equating esports to traditional sports, he stressed it was important that young people moderated their time playing video competitions. 

“Moderation in everything,” he quoted his father as telling him.

“Everything has its positives, within reason. I don’t expect our professional (esports) players to be playing for 18 hours a day. What we advocate is having good mental health, social health as well as good physical health.”

Prince Faisal said it was important that youth chose their heroes carefully, and Al-Dossary was an example of the perfect role model. 

“I’m proud of him for all of his many accomplishments in gaming, but I’m prouder of who he is as a person.”

He noted that during Al-Dossary’s winning participation in the Manchester FUT Champions Cup, in the UK, one of the tournament’s young competitors had fallen ill and was taken to hospital. Al-Dossary had ducked out of victory celebrations to go and visit his sick opponent, taking with him the green scarf awarded to world cup qualifiers which he left on the young man’s bedside table as a gift.

“I’m prouder of him for doing that, brightening up his opponent’s day, than I am of him winning the world cup,” the prince said. 

“He showed his class as a human being, not as an esports player. And that’s what we expect of all of our athletes and all of our young kids across all industries and sports.

“That’s the caliber of person that we have in Saudi, in our communities and that’s what I want to showcase to the world.”

Prince Faisal admitted that online harassment could be a problem, but said it was a global issue that could only be solved through education.

“There are errors, and esports and gaming is a new era, and it’s a new era of accessibility. Along with that comes a learning curve and an education curve,”he added.