The quarrel between the Egyptian football association (EFA) and star forward Mohamed Salah has intensified after the winger posted three videos on his Facebook page, blaming the EFA of the country’s premature exit from the 2018 World Cup.
Salah, 26, posted the videos on Monday, saying among other things, that the federation’s disorganization in Egypt’s camp wrecked the team from the task at hand.
“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 forward said in the video.
At the World Cup, Egypt lost all three group matches against Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.
As a response to the videos, members of the EFA have reportedly used their social media accounts to threat and insult the winger.
The heart of the matter
The videos posted by the Liverpool star were intended to defend a letter written to the EFA by his lawyer, Ramy Abass, that asked for guarantees regarding the player’s wellbeing whilst the national team and assurances that image rights violations wouldn’t happen.
The dispute between Salah and the EFA 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.
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
On Sunday, the 26-year-old wrote on his Twitter account that his complaints to the EFA were being 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.
The row over the striker’s image rights has casted doubts on weather he will continue playing on the Egyptian national team.
الطبيعي أن أي اتحاد كرة يسعى لحل مشاكل لاعبيه حتى يوفروا له الراحة.. لكن في الحقيقة ما أراه عكس ذلك تمامًا.. ليس من الطبيعي أن يتم تجاهل رسائلي ورسائل المحامي الخاص بي ... لا أدري لماذا كل هذا؟ أليس لديكم الوقت الكافي للرد علينا؟!— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) 26 August 2018
Threats and insults
According to The New Arab, after Salah posted the videos on Monday, members of the EFA have reportedly used their social media accounts to threaten and insult the player.
Khaled Lateif, a leading Egyptian football official, warned the Liverpool forward that while he may not live in the country anymore, his mother still does.
'I'd like to remind @MoSalah that your mother is still in Egypt. You are abroad and can do as you wish. Those who understand, understand,' Lateif tweeted on Tuesday.
Magdy Abdulghani, another senior member of the EFA, also launched an attack on Salah, calling him a pig.
“Here is a picture of me with four players and a pig in white,” the EFA member said in a caption accompanying an image of himself, Mo Salah and four other footballers.
Pigs are an animal considered impure in Islam, and believers are prohibited from consuming them.
The Twitter accounts of both EFA officials have since been suspended.
Salah 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, however, his presence in the Pharaohs is now in serious doubt.