Italy’s leading football teams are set to throw their weight behind a public campaign to force Egypt to find the people who killed Italian student Giulio Regeni.
A spokeswoman for Serie A confirmed on Friday that all top flight teams will unveil a banner before their league games next weekend displaying the message ‘Truth for Giulio’.
Regeni disappeared on January 25 in Cairo, where he was researching independent trade unions for his PhD in Development Studies at Cambridge University.
The 28-year-old was found on February 3, with an autopsy revealing he had been severely tortured prior to his death.
Cairo investigators initially claimed he had died in a traffic accident and then said he had been killed by a criminal gang.
Italy rejected both suggestions and last week recalled its ambassador from Cairo.
Human rights groups say Regeni’s killing bears the characteristics of the Egyptian security forces, but the Egyptian government has denied it had anything to do with his either his disappearance or murder.
Amnesty International says there have been over 400 unresolved cases of disappearance in Egypt since August 2015 and nearly 90 cases of torture in the first three months of 2016.
AS Roma’s Egyptian striker, Mohamed Salah, has been caught in the row with La Repubblica newspaper reporting on Friday that a source close to the player had said there was “no way he can step on to the pitch with that banner there”.
Other media outlets suggested that Salah might leave Serie A, but his agent denied this on Twitter.
“Mohamed Salah is very happy in Rome, and at AS Roma,” Ramy Abbas wrote. “Reports of him intending to breach his contract are completely untrue.”
@22mosalah is very happy in Rome, and at AS Roma. Reports of him intending to breach his contract are completely untrue.
— Ramy Abbas Issa (@RamyCol) April 15, 2016
Neither AS Roma or Salah have commented on the situation.
Currently lying third in the Serie A table, Roma are due to play second-placed Napoli on 25 April.
La Repubblica said the game was too important for the striker to suffer a ‘diplomatic injury’.
Salah, who joined Roma on loan from Chelsea last summer after rejecting an offer to make his move to Fiorentina permanent, has scored 12 league goals this season.
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