Algeria’s Antar Yahia: Mohamed Aboutrika Is The Only Egyptian Player Who I Respect

The man who broke Egyptian hearts in Sudan is not prepared to let bygones be bygones quite yet...
Algerian international defender Antar Yahia recently revealed to Al Heddaf that he turned down all Egyptian handshakes but one after his side defeated the Pharaohs in Sudan last Wednesday.

“I refused to shake the hands of all Egyptian players except for [Mohamed] Aboutrika," he said. "I shook his hand and told him, ‘You deserve it because you’re a man.’ He told me I was being too harsh but I replied that he was the only one that I respected on his team.”

The Bochum player added that other Egyptian players who approached him were frustrated by his stance, but that he did not care because they treated him and his side in the same manner in Cairo.

“For me it was a matter of principle. Did they ask if things were alright when we were attacked? Did they come and talk to us after the match in Cairo? No, they didn’t, so I don’t have to show respect to those who don’t have any for me,” he explained.

Yahia also responded to Mohamed Zidan’s claim that he cursed his mother during the decisive World Cup qualifying play-off.

“Zidan knows exactly what I said and more importantly why I said it. He omitted the part where he provoked me. I can tell him that I’m not [Marco] Materazzi [who was alleged to have incited Zinedine Zidane into head-butting him during the World Cup final of 2006 after insulting the France player's mother]. I didn’t do it deliberately to provoke him and have him sent off,” he stated.

“With that said, I’m not going to speak about this person again. It would be giving him more importance than he deserves. I only know one Zidane, with an ‘e’ at the end, and he’s Algerian.”

Rami Ayari,