Egypt’s Mohamed Aboutrika has publicly turned down an invitation from the Vatican to play in a peace match.
According to the Al Arabiya news agency, Aboutrika is refusing to play in the match as Israeli star Yossi Benayoun is set to feature.
Aboutrika made his announcement on Twitter, publishing his the letter of invitation sent by the Vatican.
The Egyptian international midfielder added the following comments to his letter:
This is a photo for the match invitation which I turned down because of the Zionist state. Pardon us, we are raising new generation.
Aside from Benayoun, the likes of Roberto Baggio, Zinedine Zidane and Lionel Messi are all expected to take part in the friendly, which is set to be held at Rome’s Olympico stadium on December 1st.
The aim of the match is to unite people of different religions.
Mohamed Aboutrika’s tweet is below.
صورة من الدعوة للمباراة ورفضى لها بسبب الكيان الصهيوني عفوا نحن نربى اجيال . pic.twitter.com/EWlAtfM6HE
— محمدمحمدابوتريكة (@aboutrikamoham1) August 17, 2014