Soccer-Egyptian Aboutrika agrees loan move to UAE's Baniyas

Reuters Middle East

CAIRO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Egypt international Mohamed Aboutrika has joined Baniyas of the United Arab Emirates on a six-month loan deal from African champions Al Ahli, the Egyptian club has announced.

Aboutrika, the attacking midfielder named in December as the best club player in Africa at the Confederation of African Football awards, moves in a deal worth $1.2 million, a statement on the club's website said.

"Ahli has agreed to send Aboutrika out on loan because the future of the Egyptian league is still uncertain due to the current political situation in the country," football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz was quoted as saying.

Egypt is due to resume its domestic league this weekend after a break of almost a year following the stadium riot in Port Said at a match between Al Masry and Al Ahli, which killed 74. The hiatus, however, has left Egypt's clubs struggling financially.

Aboutrika, 34, has been a talismanic presence for Ahli over the past eight years, helping them to three African Champions League titles, the latest in November.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Durban; Editing by Stephen Wood)

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