Mohamed Salah, high-scoring striker for FC Basel, was named best player for 2013 in the Swiss Super League at the ceremony organized by the Swiss Association of Football Players on Monday.
But Salah, 21, is getting flak from his fans back in Egypt for swapping kisses with a lady presenter before accepting the award at Basel’s Grand Casino.
Exchanging kisses on the cheek is accepted as a normal form of greeting between a man and a woman in Switzerland but it is frowned upon by some residents of Arab countries, including Egypt.
Following the criticism, Salah said he was disappointed by the reactions, website Al Arabiya reported.
“They have spoiled my joy as they forgot the prize and concentrated on the lady kissing me.” Salah said speaking to the Egyptian channel Al-Hayat.
“Anywhere I go here in Switzerland people applaud, while my native fans criticize me,” Salah said.
The forward, who signed his contract with the Swiss team FC Bassel in April 2012, has scored ten goals so far this season, including the only goal in Basel’s recent 1-0 win against Chelsea.