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Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Salah's participation in the 2020 Olympics in the air: U-23 Pharaohs' coach

Each team is allowed to include three over-age players. The rest must be under 23, according to Olympics regulations

Mahmoud Sheleib, Thursday 30 Jan 2020
Salah
Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (Photo: AFP)
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Egyptian U-23 national team coach Shawky Gharib said it was up to Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah whether to participate in the 2020 Olympics or not.

Gharib said he is going to talk to Champions League winner Salah about joining the squad for the Olympics, "We have to send a preliminary list of 50 players. Salah will be the first on the list as an official call-up."

"Salah's participation in the Tokyo Olympics is in his hands, but there are other factors that may affect his decision. The Olympic football tournament will be held from 23 July to 8 August, which is the same time Liverpool will be preparing for the new season," Gharib told ON Sport TV channel.

Olympics regulations for football tournaments state that each team is allowed to include three over-age players, while the rest of the players must be under 23 years old.

Local reports said after the Egyptian U-23 national team had won the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations, the technical staff are planning to include Salah, West Bromwich defender Ahmed Hegazi, and Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawi to be the three over-age players.

"Until now I have problem in goalkeeping as Mahmoud Gad doesn't play with his team Enppi, Zamalek's goalie Mohamed Sobhy played a single game only, while Omar Radwan and Omar Salah didn't play any games since the start of the season," Gharib revealed.

"We will have to include one goalkeeper only in the final list, so I prefer to wait until June and if none of the U-23 goalies participated with his team I will have to summon an over-age goalie. My final decision will be announced in June," he added.

The young Pharaohs' boss said the Olympics will be difficult and he requested the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) to play four friendly games against qualified teams during the international breaks in March and June.

"We have offers to play against Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, and South Korea," Gharib added. 

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