Egyptian Football Federation president Hany Abo Rida (AFP)
Ahmed Megahed, board member of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA), said on Monday that he is optimistic about reaching a consensus with Mohamed Salah and his agent, revealing that the latter had backtracked on his hard-worded letter.
Salah’s agent Ramy Abbas sent a letter to EFA board members on 23 August, threatening to ask for their resignation if his client’s demands are not met. The dispute that erupted earlier this year is related to the exploitation of Salah’s image rights by the EFA.
Three days later, Megahed said, Abbas sent another letter that could pave the way to end the stalemate.
“Following Sunday night's letter, we are optimistic we can solve this crisis. After retrieving talks about our resignation, we can now discuss the demands and if any are doable, we will excecute them immediately without any delays,” Megahed said in a press conference on Monday.
“We are keen on Mohamed Salah and his future because he is one of our sons. We tried to help him as much as possible to scoop up awards and to win votes in the best player award that is set to be awarded later this year. We refrained from answering because we didn’t want to temper our relation with our most important player,” Megahed added.
Salah’s agent sent a list of seven demands that included the presence of two security guards with Salah when he is on international duty.
He also said no one should be allowed to ask Salah for photographs and that his client "will not be expected to be made available for any promotional appearances, interviews, meets and greets, sponsor events, official visits, VIP visits, picture sessions, or anything else, by anyone on behalf of the EFA."
The EFA issued a statement shortly after criticizing Salah’s agent for his role in the crisis and threatened to take legal action against him should he continue his escalation.
“The letter sent [on 23 August] to the president of the EFA does not respect any codes to communication between a player or his agent towards the chief of football in this country and it completely rejected," the statement read.
“We won’t tolerate that a third party tempers with the relation between the FA and any of its sons. We totally reject that this party causes troubles during the national team camps which affects the team’s spirit and unity.”
The EFA also added that some demands seem exaggerated and unacceptable, especially since all players receive the same treatment and any demands from any player are taken into consideration if they are not excessive and do not contradict regulation.
“In the best interest of the player in this period, we decided not to answer these letters because we do not want to get into conflicts that will harm one of the most valuable and decent Egyptian players," the statement continued.
“But if the third party continues such actions, the Egyptian FA will take all the necessary legal measures according to its regulation and the directives and regulation of FIFA,” the statement concluded.
Salah has been included in a 13-man foreign-based players list for the match against Niger in the 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers on 8 September.
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