Egyptian referee avoids ‘Rabaa sign’ to signal four minutes stoppage time
The referee used two hands to signal the additional time in the Egyptian league match between Gouna and el Entag el Harby
An Egyptian football referee thought twice before signaling four minutes of additional time during a domestic league game, the Egyptian daily news website al-Ahram reported.
Atef al-Alfi, who was the referee of Egyptian league match between Gouna and el-Entag el-Harby, avoided using one hand while signaling the four minutes stoppage time in fear that it would be interpreted as the ‘four-fingered salute.’
Alfi used his two hands with two fingers on each hand to signal the extra time.
The Rabaa hand, or ‘four-fingered salute,’ is used to represent those who support President Mohammed Mursi. Hundreds of Mursi supporters were killed after the military tried to disperse a demonstration at Rabaa al-Adawiya square.
"There is no place for politics in football. I just didn't want to be misunderstood," Alfi told Egyptian sports website FilGoal.
"None of the Egyptian Football Association officials asked us [referees] to make any certain signs. We just want to avoid using anything that might be interpreted as political signs," he added.
In 2013, two sportsmen faced sanctions after waving the ‘Rabaa sign’ during international competitions.