Egypt football coach El-Badry asks Liverpool Salah to ‘ignore’ recent FIFA awards vote crisis

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 28 Sep 2019

Egypt's newly-appointed national football team coach Hossam el-Badry gives a press conference in the capital Cairo on September 26, 2019 AFP

Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah should ignore the recent FIFA Best awards voting crisis, said Egypt national team’s newly-appointed coach Hossam El-Badry, insisting that the Pharaohs star was always a source of pride for all Egyptians.

"We are always proud of you and we love you so much. Ignore the voting crisis quickly and we should work to please Egyptians," El-Badry sent this message to Salah on MBC Masr TV channel late on Friday.

Salah stirred up a social media storm on Tuesday when he changed his Twitter bio to "Footballer for Liverpool FC" instead of "for Liverpool FC and Egypt" in apparent anger after finding out that the country had not voted for him in FIFA’s best player award.

Votes of Egypt skipper Ahmed El-Mohamady and former coach Javier Aguirre weren't counted by FIFA.

Egyptian Football Association (EFA) interim chief Amr El-Ganainy said he had told Salah the failure to vote for him was an "unintentional mistake".

The 27-year-old Salah came fourth in the best player prize, which was won by Barcelona's Argentinean wizard Lionel Messi.

"Egyptians are always proud of you and what happened in the voting crisis is a mistake the details of which I am not sure about," the Pharaohs’ new coach explained.

"I will call Salah soon. I know he is tired, and I want to discuss with him a host of issues,” El-Badri added.

The former Roma man, top scorer of the Premier League for the past two seasons, made a fine start to the new campaign with Liverpool, netting four goals in the opening six matches as the Reds top the table with maximum 18 points.

"I hope that Salah will be able to play against Sheffield United on Saturday," continued El-Badry.

Old players still welcomed

Former Ahly player and coach Hossam El-Badry was recently appointed as Egypt's national team manager; succeeding Mexican tactician Javier Aguirre who was sacked after quickly exiting the Africa Nations Cup held home in the 16th round in July.

El-Badry said that he won't be favoring players of former club Ahly over others, adding that old players are still welcome to join the national team.

"Now I am coach of the Egypt national team, away from personal loyalties. I am a coach for all Egyptians," said El-Badry.

"Sure I will be fair as the national team's interest and achieving the best results are my priorities.

"The players’ age isn't important to me. The most important thing is settling on the team's structure, and then I will determine my selection from players based abroad and the best ones.

"It’s surely a good thing to lower the age average, but if there are old players who still have something to deliver I regard them as diamonds," he concluded.

El-Badry is the first Egyptian manager in Egypt's hot seat in four years following Argentinean tactician Hector Cuper (2015-2018) and Javier Aguirre (2018-2019).

Under the helm of El-Badry, the Pharaohs will start a new era next month when they launch a preparatory camp ahead of a friendly game against Botswana on 14 October.

Egypt are competing in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers alongside the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

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