Court dismisses assault charges against soccer star

A court has dismissed assault charges against one of Egypt's best known football stars after a police photographer who he chased and kicked on an empty pitch withdrew his complaint.

In its ruling on Saturday, the court in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia fined retired international forward Hossam Hassan US$50 for damaging the photographer's camera.

The incident, shown on live television, followed a tense July 8 league game involving al-Masri club, which is managed by Hassan, who retired in 2007.

Hassan, who played his club football in Egypt, Greece and Switzerland, is Egypt's most capped player, with 170 international matches to his name. He has a long record of angry outbursts on and off the pitch.

His detention in connection with the incident attracted intense local media attention.

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