The Egypt’s sports ministry said on Wednesday that it has referred a probe into a missing African Cup of Nations trophy which Egypt has possessed since 2010 to the prosecutor general after a string of explosive allegations.
The investigation was launched last week when celebrated ex-national goalkeeper, Ahmed Shobair said the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) found that the gold trophy, along with other awards from previous tournaments, had gone missing.
Officials were preparing to inaugurate a museum showcasing Egypt’s football memorabilia in time for the EFA’s centenary when the loss was realized, Shobair said on his popular talkshow.
Another former football hero, Magdy Abdelghani, along with the EFA, waded into the debate suggesting ex-national team players and coaches, Ahmed Hassan and Shawky Gharib knew of the 2010 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophy’s whereabouts.
But former football officials said it was looted during a fire in 2013 caused by protesters, known as the Ultras, at the EFA headquarters in Cairo.
The accusations prompted the sports ministry and EFA to kick off investigations that have been closely monitored by Egypt’s legions of fervent football fans.
Hassan and Gharib have both dismissed any link to the disappearance.
The continent’s football governing body, the Confederation of African Football, said on Sunday that it had learnt with shock reports of missing AFCON trophies from the Egyptian Football Association secretariat.