Liverpool's Mo Salah takes fresh swipe at Egyptian FA

Hatem Maher , Sunday 26 Aug 2018

Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah during a World Cup game against Russia (File photo: Reuters)

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah took a fresh swipe at the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) on Sunday, saying it had ignored his requests for guarantees that a previous row over image rights would not be repeated.

Salah said his calls and that of his lawyer went unanswered, sarcastically wondering if the EFA did not have enough time to respond to him.

"It's natural for any football association to solve the problems of its players … but in fact, what I see is exactly the opposite," the 26-year-old, who won multiple Premier League awards last season after enjoying a dream debut campaign with Liverpool, said on his social media accounts.

"It is not normal that my messages and my lawyer's letters are ignored. I do not know why all this (happens)? Don't you have time to respond to us?!"

Salah did not disclose further details but his agent Ramy Abbas confirmed in a later tweet that the matter is related to a dispute that occurred before the summer World Cup in Russia when he complained that the EFA had exploited Salah's image rights. 

"We asked for guarantees regarding Mohamed’s wellbeing whilst with the national team, and assurances that the image rights violations wouldn’t happen again. That’s all. They have yet to respond," Abbas said. 

Salah refrained from directly criticising the EFA during the previous falling-out but publicly stood by Abbas, who detailed his concerns in a series of tweets at the time and said his client deserved more respect.

Abbas was particularly concerned about an EgyptAir plane designed for the national team ahead of the World Cup, bearing the pictures of several players including Salah. He argued that the EFA and its sponsor, advertising agency Presentation, could not use Salah’s image without a written consent from MS Commercial, the entity that owns the player’s image rights.

The EFA eventually said it would "give up its rights" and remove Salah's pictures from all the ads to meet his demands. 

Salah missed Egypt's opening World Cup loss to Uruguay due to a shoulder injury he picked up in last season's Champions League final against Real Madrid. However, he featured in the other two Group A encounters, scoring against hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia although Egypt lost both games to bow out in embarrassing fashion.

The former AS Roma man is an icon in the football-mad country. He made a stunning impact at Liverpool last term, racking up 44 goals in all competitions including a record 32 in the Premier League.

Speculation linked him with a summer move to a host of clubs, including Spanish giants and European champions Real Madrid, but he opted to stay put, penning a new five-year contract with Liverpool last month.

Salah picked up from where he left off last season, netting two goals in Liverpool's opening three Premier League games. His first-half goal earned the Reds a 1-0 win over Brighton on Saturday.

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