Cairo: The Egyptian Sports Ministry today asked the country’s top prosecutor to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the African Cup of Nations trophy awarded to Egypt after they won the title for the third consecutive time.
Earlier this week, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced that several trophies had disappeared from its headquarters in Cairo and said it started an investigation.
In response, the Sports Ministry formed a legal committee and tasked it with investigating the incident.
Today, the ministry said it has referred the issue to the chief prosecutor.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports today referred the file related to the loss of some trophies from the EFA storerooms to the public prosecutor in light of a report issued by an examination committee formed by the ministry,” it said on its Twitter account without further details.
The EFA said it had discovered the disappearance of old trophies and commemorative shields when it had embarked on a plan to set up a museum to house different trophies claimed by the national team.
Speculation is rife in Egypt that the trophies were lost in the wake of a 2013 attack by hard-core fans known as Ultras on the headquarters of the association in response to a court ruling sentencing 21 people to death in a deadly stampede during a local league match two years later.
Initially, claims went round that the Africa Cup of Nations trophy was being kept by ex-footballer Ahmed Hassan, who captained the Pharaohs to win the tournament for three straight times. But Hassan soon denied the claims.
Egypt retained the trophy after the Pharaohs won the continental competition in 2010 for the third time in a row. The Pharaohs have won the Africa Cup of Nations for record seven times.