Suspect in murder of Egyptian speedball champion has confessed, police say

Man arrested had been convicted in 17 prior cases for crimes including robbery, drug dealing and assault

Egyptian speedball champion Rawan El Husseiny is honoured following her club's win at the 2016 world championship in Poland.

A wanted criminal and drug addict has confessed to killing Egyptian former speedball champion Rawan El Husseiny after his arrest late on Wednesday, police in Egypt's Kafr El Shaikh province said.

A police statement said the man had 17 prior convictions and had confessed to strangling the 21-year-old sports star while attempting to rob her.

El Husseiny's family said they found her body on the roof of her aunt's residential building in Desouk, the provincial capital, on Monday night after receiving a call from her phone in which a man told them where it was located.

The family rushed to the location, he said, only to find nothing there. They then called him back and he informed them of the correct location.

The police statement added that the accused said he had followed El Husseiny from the Desouk Sporting Club after seeing that she was wearing an expensive-looking pair of gold earrings. He waited until she entered the apartment building where her aunt lives, located in a relatively dark and quiet area, before trying to rob her.

The man, who police identified only by the initials IMM, confessed to forcibly taking El Husseiny to the roof and stealing her earrings and her phone. When she attempted to run from him, he pulled her by her hijab and strangled her with it.

The police's said she was found with the headscarf still around her neck.

Police said the man was tracked down with the help of footage from security cameras in the area. A prosecutors statement on Thursday confirmed the use of security cameras in the arrest.

He will remain in police custody until he is referred to a criminal court for trial.

El Husseiny was buried on Tuesday night after a postmortem. Thousands of people attended her funeral in Desouk.

Her death prompted widespread calls on social media for the arrest of those responsible.

A third-year pharmacy student at Kafr El Sheikh University, El Husseiny achieved fame in 2016 when she won the world club championship in the Egypt-invented racquet game of speedball, leading the junior team of Desouk Sporting Club to victory in Poland.

She was honoured at a ceremony by the sports minister and the governor of Kafr El Sheikh. Her achievement put her home town of Desouk on the map and earned its speedball club a reputation as one of the best in the country.

Updated: January 20, 2022, 6:42 PM