‘Lasers were not particularly cool,’ Liverpool's Klopp comments on controversial Egypt-Senegal clash

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 1 Apr 2022

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp criticised the use of lasers against Egyptian players in the Egypt-Senegal World Cup qualifier clash that cost the Pharaohs a trip to Qatar.

Klopp, Salah

"The lasers were not particularly cool,” Klopp told a press conference ahead of their game against Watford in the English Premier League.

Egypt’s Mohamed Salah lost to his Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane of Senegal 3-1 on penalties following a 1-1 aggregate draw on Tuesday to miss out on a place in the 2022 World Cup finals that will take place in Qatar from 21 November to 18 December 2022.

“I am really happy for Sadio and I am very disappointed for Mo," Klopp said.

“They are mates who play against each other, but they are both top professionals and they will both deal with it,”

Senegal’s fans in the stands – estimated at 55,000 – intensified their game-long use of lasers against Egyptian players when Mohamed Salah stepped in to take Egypt’s first penalty kick, which he missed wildly in a rare gaffe.

Two other typically very reliable Pharoahs penalty kickers – Ahmed 'Zizo' El Sayed of Zamalek and Mostafa Mohamed of Galatasaray – also missed from the spot, giving the Lions of Teranga the win.

Egypt lodged an official complaint with the FIFA for a replay of the World Cup qualifying game against Senegal in Dakar on Tuesday, charging that a “terrorising atmosphere,” including illegal lasers that blurred the vision of players during the penalty shootout, cost the Pharoahs a trip to Qatar.

The Egyptian Football Association also said the Egyptian players’ bus was attacked with projectiles en route to the stadium, adding there is photographic evidence to prove it.

"It was emotional but they will deal with it right now. Senegal are probably the best team in Africa," the Liverpool boss said.

The English Premier League title contender Liverpool will resume action after the international break on Saturday when they take on Watford in the 30th matchday of the EPL.

"Mo wants to win again. His desire will be bigger now than ever,” Klopp said.

“He is a very smart person. He knows that Senegal are a really tough team in the moment. They have a good generation. But he is fine."

The 29-year-old, Salah became a Reds' fan favourite directly after he joined Liverpool in 2017 from Italian side AS Roma, claiming many individual titles, including the Premier League top scorer twice (in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons).

He also helped his team win the Premier League in the 2019/20 season and the Champions League in the 2018/19 season, which had been out of the club’s reach for many years.

Liverpool are second in the table with 69 points, one point behind leaders and title holders Manchester City.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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