Retired footballer Mohamed Aboutrika will remain on Egypt's terror watch list until 2023. Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo: An Egyptian court rejected Thursday the appeal of Mohamed Aboutrika, one of the most successful African footballers of his generation, to be removed from its “terror watchlist”, a judicial source said.

The Court of Cassation ruled that retired footballer Aboutrika, along with 1,528 people, mainly from the banned Muslim Brotherhood, would remain on the watchlist until May 2023.

He was first placed on the watchlist in 2017 on suspicions he financed the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood was outlawed in 2013, months after the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who hailed from the movement.

The court’s initial decision was then published in the state gazette in 2018, to which he and the other defendants appealed.

Thurday’s verdict is final and cannot be appealed, the source added.

Travel ban

In 2015, a government committee froze the assets of Aboutrika, a former player for Cairo-based club Al Ahly and Egypt’s national team, two years after he retired.

According to an anti-terror law imposed in 2015, those on the list are subject to a travel ban, with their passport and assets liable to be frozen.

Aboutrika helped deliver repeated victories for Egypt in the African Cup, and played on winning Al Ahly teams in the African Champions League.

He publicly endorsed Morsi’s presidential bid in 2012, but has repeatedly denied funding the Islamist movement.

Aboutrika is currently a commentator with beIN sports channel in Qatar.