File Photo: Egypt's winger Mohamed Salah. REUTERS
English Premier League giants Liverpool don’t welcome allowing their star winger Mohamed Salah to play with Egypt in the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the Egyptian Football Association’s Interim Chairman Ahmed Megahed said late on Tuesday.
“Liverpool don’t welcome letting Salah to play at the Tokyo Olympics,” Megahed told ON Time Sports TV channel.
Egypt’s U23 team coach Shawky Gharib said earlier in June that Salah wants to play in the prestigious event next month in Tokyo, but the Premier League club is yet to decide on the player’s availability.
On 15 June, Gharib unveiled a list of eight over-age players, including Salah, that he will choose three candidates from for his final squad for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“The chances of seeing Galatasray’s striker Mostafa Mohamed with the national team at the Olympics are bigger than Salah’s,” Megahed explained.
“Ittihad Jeddah defender Ahmed Hegazi also has big chances to appear in the Olympics, as his club is not refusing the idea,” the chairman of the football governing body added.
Late in April, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) submitted a second request to Liverpool to include Salah among the three over-age players in the squad participating in the Olympics that will last from 23 July to 8 August.
Egypt’s U23 team kicked off their preparations for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo by starting a two-week training camp on 1 June. The team’s final 22-man squad will be announced on 30 June.
The Pharaohs defeated South Africa 2-0 and 3-0 in two friendly games on 10 and 13 June as part of their preparations for the Tokyo Games.
Egypt were drawn in a tough group at the Olympic Games, along with heavyweights Spain, Argentina, and Australia.
The 2012 quarter-finalists will open their campaign against Spain on 22 July before facing Argentina three days later and Australia on 28 July.
The 28-year-old Salah recently claimed the Professional Footballers Association’s (PFA) Premier League Fans’ Player of the Year award for 2020-21 after enjoying another remarkable campaign in which he came agonisingly close to scooping the Premier League’s top scorer award.
Salah, who scored 22 goals in the elite competition, played an instrumental role in helping Liverpool earn a Champions League spot after the Reds finished third in the Premier League.
He scored 31 goals in 51 appearances in all competitions, moving to 12th place in Liverpool’s list of all-time top scorers.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)