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Chelsea ‘ready to help Salah’ following Israel controversy

Jose Mourinho says he was not concerned over Mohamed Salah’s refusal to shake the hands of Maccabi Tel Aviv players during a Champions League preliminary-round game

Hatem Maher, Friday 24 Jan 2014
Mohamed Salah
FC Basel Mohamed Salah, center, celebrates after scoring his team's second goal against Maccabi Tel Aviv FC during the Champions League third qualifying round second leg soccer match at the Bloomfield stadium in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013 (Photo: AP)
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Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho dismissed English concerns over Mohamed Salah’s refusal to shake the hands of Maccabi Tel Aviv players during a Champions League game last year, saying his side are capable of “making people feel the way we think people should feel”.

The Egyptian forward, who is on the verge of joining Chelsea from Swiss side Basel, stirred controversy when he pretended to tie up his boot laces to avoid the customary pre-match handshake during a preliminary round match at home to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

“It's not a concern, because we know the club Chelsea is, I know the manager I am,” Portuguese boss Mourinho told a news conference ahead of the Blues’ FA Cup match against Stoke City on Sunday.

“I know that Chelsea's capable of helping people and making people feel the way we think people should feel, which in football and in life to be open and respectful to every ethnicity, to every religion.

“People have the right to be what they are. Chelsea as a club and me as a manager we will be more than ready to help him.”

Salah’s move to Chelsea is subject to the player completing a medical and agreeing personal terms.

The 21-year-old, who played a key role in helping Basel win a fourth successive Swiss league title and qualify for the Europa League semis last season, is no stranger to Chelsea, having scored against them in home and away games in the Champions League group stage this term.

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