FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Group E - Napoli v Liverpool - Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy - September 17, 2019 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah Reuters
Egyptian Football Association (EFA) interim chief Amr El-Ganainy said he had told Liverpool star Mohamed Salah that the failure to vote for him in FIFA's Best awards was an "unintentional mistake".
Although the EFA said on Tuesday it sought explanation from world governing body FIFA over why the votes of the national team's captain and coach were not counted, El-Ganainy appeared to acknowledge that the EFA was to blame.
"I phoned Salah to clarify that it was an unintentional mistake, and that the EFA supports him and all the foreign-based players," El-Ganainy was quoted as saying by local media on Wednesday.
"I told Salah that whoever committed this administrative mistake will be punished."
According to a letter FIFA sent to Egyptian sports website FilGoal.com, the votes of Egypt's skipper and coach were not valid because they were sent after the 19 August deadline.
The EFA originally submitted the votes earlier but they were not counted because "the voting forms were not signed by the General Secretary which is mandatory," according to FIFA's letter.
The EFA is run by an interim board after former chief Hany Abo Rida and his entire board of directors stepped down following Egypt's embarrassing last-16 exit at the African Cup of Nations on home soil in July.
Salah caused a social media storm on Tuesday when he removed the word "Egypt" from his Twitter bio in apparent anger after finding out that the country had not voted for him in FIFA's best player award.
The 27-year-old came fourth in the best player prize, which was won by Barcelona's Argentinean wizard Lionel Messi.
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.
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