Mo Salah denies asking for preferential treatment, defends agent against Egypt FA

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul, Monday 27 Aug 2018

A screen shot for Mohamed Salah during his live video via facebook on Monday

Egypt star Mohamed Salah has rubbished claims that he seeks preferential treatment with the national team, defending his agent in the prolonged saga with the Egyptian Football Association (EFA).

Following verbal jousting between the EFA and Salah's agent and lawyer Ramy Abbas over the latter's demands, the Liverpool winger released a video on Monday on his official Facebook page to "clarify everything to the people."

"I do not only speak for myself but there are problems we face as players in the team," he said.

"I don't have any personal problems with anyone and I don't think anybody has a personal problem with me. I apologise that I'm speaking while I'm not the national team Captain, but I do this as some players don't want to speak out.

"I asked for more security to all players, not only for me. We had many disturbances at the team's camp during our participation at the World Cup in Russia. I couldn't go to the restaurant twice as they told me you won't be able to go there for your own safety due to the crowd inside the hotel.

"The players had a problem to move easily in the hotel or to sit at the reception due to the crowd. The football association denied these facts but they were obvious and you can ask the hotel management. We are not asking for something supernatural it is something that is provided by any team to make players comfortable and able to focus," Salah added.

A celebrity delegation flew to Russia to support Egypt in the World Cup. Media reports suggested their presence had disturbed the players especially that they resided in the same hotel.

"They say that nobody came to the players rooms. I was the one involved and I can tell you that we had someone coming to our room and stayed to talk with us," Salah said.

The former Chelsea and Roma player also came at the defence of his lawyer after the EFA's threat of taking legal action against him.

"They accused my lawyer Ramy Abass of being offensive in his letters, but they don't solve the problem itself... they released all of our correspondence which is totally illegal."

"I want to make something clear, my lawyer is not a "third party," he is my agent and he represents me so you should deal with him."

Ahmed Megahed, board member of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA), said earlier on Monday during a presser that he was optimistic about reaching a consensus with Salah and his agent.

The dispute that erupted earlier this year is related to the exploitation of Salah’s image rights by the EFA.

Salah's agent sent last week 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."

On his demands, Salah said: "I see that my demands are normal. The arrangements that I am asking for are already done for me automatically outside Egypt. We have all the capabilities to achieve all this especially that we have a good income now after reaching the World Cup and the presence of several sponsors.

"I am not asking for anything personal, if so point it out. You tried to make me look as someone who hates Egypt, but I am sure people won't believe it as they always see me do my best on the pitch for my country.

"I take full responsibility of what I said," Salah concluded.

The 26-year-old 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.

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

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