EGYPTIAN soccer officials have sacrificed a cow in a bid to bring the national team more luck at the Africa Cup of Nations in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Team spokesman Mohamed Morad told The Associated Press on Friday the Egyptian Football Association killed the cow and distributed the meat to needy people in Cairo the day before.
Egypt, which has yet to win a game, plays Congo in the last 16 in San Pedro on Sunday. The team’s flight from Abidjan to San Pedro was delayed by an hour on Friday.
Egypt’s campaign has been hit by injuries. The Pharaohs lost star Mohamed Salah to a hamstring injury in their second group game, then goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy with a dislocated shoulder in the third and last group game. Imam Ashour was hospitalized overnight on Wednesday for concussion treatment after a head injury in training. He has since rejoined the squad.
Egypt players reportedly sacrificed a calf during training before going on win the 2008 Africa Cup in Ghana.
Egypt, the record seven-time champion, has drawn its three group games. But so did Congo. Only one will win on Sunday.
Spectator subs as referee
A SPECTATOR at a Bundesliga game was recruited as the fourth official after the assistant referee was struck in the face by the ball and taken to hospital on Saturday in Wolfsburg, Germany.
The game between Wolfsburg and Cologne was stopped in the 14th minute when Cologne player Max Finkgräfe hit a powerful clearance straight into the face of assistant referee Thorben Siewer, who was on the sideline nearby.
Siewer fell to the ground and seemed dazed, requiring around three minutes of treatment before he was helped off the field. He was replaced on the sideline by fourth official Nicolas Winter.
Following an appeal to the crowd for any spectators who were qualified referees, 32-year-old Tobias Krull took over the fourth official role as emergency backup.
Krull is a goalkeeper for local sixth-division club MTV Gifhorn. He changed from a shirt and jeans into a black tracksuit to join the officiating crew.
Wolfsburg said Siewer was in hospital for observation.
Last week, a fan in England took over as the fourth official in extra time of an FA Cup game between Wolverhampton and Brentford. He wasn’t allowed to celebrate his team›s winning goal.
Angry fan chases referee
AN angry supporter ran onto the field and chased the referee after a late penalty decision in England’s third division on Saturday.
The Port Vale fan tried to confront referee Craig Hicks after he awarded an 88th-minute penalty to League One leader Portsmouth, which secured a 1-0 win for the visitor.
The supporter chased after Hicks, who ran into the dugout, before members of the coaching staff on the sideline intervened and stopped the fan.
Port Vale posted a statement on social media saying it condemned the fan’s actions and “will work with the relevant authorities to ensure the matter and the individual is dealt with a zero tolerance approach.”