World Cup qualifiers: Liverpool block Salah’s call-up for Egypt duty

Mohammed Salah

Liverpool have written to the Egyptian FA to prevent Mohamed Salah from being called up for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers due to concerns over Covid-19 and quarantine rules.

Salah was set to be called up to the Egypt squad for their games against Gabon and Angola in September but he would have faced a 10-day quarantine in a hotel upon his return to England.

In a statement, Egypt said they have asked FIFA for a travel exemption, meaning Salah would be able to play for his country and not face quarantine when he returned to the UK.

The statement reads: “The Egyptian Football Association continues its continuous contacts regarding the task of international players joining their national teams to participate in the World Cup qualifiers, which requires exempting them from travel restrictions imposed on them in the countries in which they play due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Egyptian Football Association has received a letter from Liverpool FC apologising for the unavailability of its player, Mohamed Salah, to join the national team in its next camp, which includes facing Angola in Cairo and Gabon in Franceville during the first and second rounds of the African continent’s qualifiers for the World Cup.

“The English club’s letter referred to the precautionary measures applied in England to confront the outbreak of the coronavirus in the world, which puts returnees from some countries in compulsory health isolation for a period of ten days upon their return to England.

“In this letter, the English club also expressed its hope that the Egyptian Federation would understand that it was forced to do so, in the face of the player being subjected to a quarantine for this period and being affected by this physically, as well as the uncertainty of the conditions determined by English authorities.

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“It is noteworthy that Liverpool FC took the same position with a number of its foreign players.”

Egypt are in the same group as Gabon, Angola and Libya with the winner progressing to the final qualifying round where they will compete for one of Africa’s five 2022 World Cup slots.