Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah has revived a months-long dispute with the Egyptian Football Association (EFA), accusing them of snubbing his complaints about their unauthorized use of his image.
Back in April, Salah was upset his image was used to promote Egypt’s official sponsor WE when he had a deal with rival telecommunications company Vodafone.
According to a tweet by the 26-year-old striker on Sunday, his complaints to the EFA have been ignored.
"It's normal that a football union seeks to solve the problems of its players so they can provide comfort. But in fact, what I see is exactly the opposite. It is not normal that my messages and my lawyer's letters are ignored ... I do not know why all this? Do not you have time to respond to us?!," Salah wrote on Sunday.
The dispute over the striker’s image rights has casted doubts on weather he will continue playing on the national team.
Regarding this, the EFA has denied suggestions that the Liverpool winger has refused to play against Niger in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier next month.
Apparently the Egypt national team airplane is being used to transport Egyptians to Saudi Arabia for Umrah... Isn’t this plane supposed to be exclusive for the team? Also the Salah photo is still there... pic.twitter.com/87x3MyZs6v— Marwan Ahmed (@MarwanAhmed_KF) 30 April 2018
The heart of the matter
The dispute surfaced five months ago when the Egyptian national team featured an image of Salah on a plane provided by team sponsor WE. The striker, however, has a sponsorship deal with rival telecommunications firm Vodafone.
Ramy Abbas Issa, the player’s lawyer and representative, said: "We asked for guarantees regarding Mohamed's wellbeing whilst with the national team, and assurances that the image rights violations wouldn't happen again. That's all. They have yet to respond."
We asked for guarantees regarding Mohamed’s wellbeing whilst with the national team, and assurances that the image rights violations wouldn’t happen again. That’s all. They have yet to respond.— Ramy Abbas Issa (@RamyCol) 26 August 2018
In a statement released on Monday, the EFA argued that "it did not receive any direct communication from any of the players, especially from Mohamed Salah, and all the comments received were from the agent of the player".
The Federation added that Salah was contacted on 16 August, after he previously sent a letter, to confirm that any requests should be sent as an official letter to the email or fax of the EFA.
After receiving Salah’s letter, the Federation guaranteed that it would hold a meeting to discuss the requests.
However, the EFA said that the language used in the letter was "inappropriate and difficult to accept", as it included a request by Issa for the football union to resign if it doesn’t respond to the player’s demands.
The striker is expected to be back with the Egyptian team next month under the new coach Javier Aguirre at a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Niger on 8 September.