CAIRO: Sports commentator and TV host Alaa Sadek is now banned from presenting shows on terrestrial channels after he criticized the Ministry of Interior on his show “Shadows and Lights” last Monday.
Head of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) Osama El Shiekh issued the decision on Tuesday.
“I respect the ERTU’s decision and it’s their right to decide what’s suitable or not,” said Sadek. “I don’t feel any sort of injustice towards me. I criticize a lot of people on air, so when I am criticized I have to accept it.”
On his show last Monday, Sadek commented on what happened at Cairo Stadium during the match between Egypt’s Ahly and Tunisia’s Esperance. A civil security officer sustained serious head injuries and multiple fractures during clashes.
Sadek addressed the security forces of the Ministry of Interior and its minister: “I wish the Ministry of Interior would come out and apologize to the Egyptian citizen who was an easy prey to the fans of the Tunisian Esperance.
“Minister of Interior Habib El Adly has to interrogate his men from the security forces, as they hold full responsibility for what happened to the poor police officer,” Sadek added.
Furthermore, he said that “the security forces have left the citizen, Haitham Salah El-Sayed, like a deer for the hungry tigers and [he has become] easy prey … the security is the first and foremost responsible entity in this incident.”
Sadek explained that he was practicing his right as a media commentator to express his opinion.
Sadek, who has two other shows on Nile Sports called “Good Night” and “Shadows and Lights,” was informed of the decision that he leave the television network as soon as his show went off-air on Monday night.
The sports commentator and TV host said that he still has not yet thought of his next step, and that he will use his sudden unexpected free time to relax.
El Shiekh had previously warned Sadek several times to not criticize or offend authorities on his show, according to ERTU’s official news portal, Egynews.net.
Despite the warnings, Sadek still used his show to accuse Hassan Sakr, the head of the National Council for Sports, of forgery. He also offended a number of sports referees and various journalists at Al Ahram newspaper, all of whom had reportedly complained to El Shiekh. The website added that the warnings given to Sadek were futile.
In Oct. 2009, Sadek signed his contract with state-owned Nile Sports television channel for a new show after resigning from Modern Sports while the show was still on the air.