Footballers 'Gaza' photo disappears from Google

Google caves in to Israeli pressure: paper


Caving into pressure from Israeli authorities, Google has deleted pictures of Egyptian football star Mohamed Aboutrika which show his "Sympathize with Gaza" t-shirt, a Saudi newspaper reported.

According to the Arabic-language daily, Al Watan, various pictures of Aboutrika appear in Google's image search – but not the controversial shot from last week's Africa Cup of Nations game.

Aboutrika lifted his team's jersey after he scored in Egypt's 3-0 win over Sudan on Saturday to reveal a white t-shirt with the slogan "Sympathize with Gaza" in English and Arabic.

The phrase angered Israeli authorities, who then exerted pressure on Google to delete the picture, the paper said.

A search for Aboutrika's name in any language on the American-operated Google website returns many of his pictures but not this one, despite being available earlier.

Israeli media is demanding that football's governing body FIFA penalize Aboutrika for allegedly violating the rules. The midfielder already picked up a booking and a warning from CAF for displaying a political message in a sports event.

The impoverished Gaza Strip has been under a seven-month blockade imposed by Israel. Hundreds of thousands of Gazans have flooded into Egypt to buy essential supplies that are in short supply in the besieged territory.

(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).