November 12, 2013
Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

The goal itself was significant -- it ensured that Cairo's mighty Al-Ahly team would beat South Africa's Orlando Pirates for its eighth champions league title. But in Egypt, it was Abdel Zaher's celebration that later stole the limelight. For his four-fingered salute has over the past three months become a potent and divisive sign of opposition to the overthrow of Egypt's former president, Mohamed Morsi. It invokes August's bloody demolition of an encampment of Morsi's Islamist supporters outside a mosque called Rabaa al-Adawiya. (Rabaa means 'fourth' in Arabic.)

Al Ahly player Ahmed Abdul Zaher kneels after winning the African Champions League title.
Osama Abdel Naby/AP


Al Ahly fans shine lasers on the face of Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa during their African Champions League final in Cairo this past Sunday.
Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
Riot police stand on guard as Egypt's Al Ahly fans cheer during their African Champions League final soccer match against South Africa's Orlando Pirates at the Arab Contractors Stadium in Cairo.
Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
Al Ahly fans cheer during the second leg of the African Champions League final.
Osama Abdel Naby/AP

Patrick Kingsley is the Egypt correspondent for The Guardian.

You May Like