With the 2020 Olympics coming up in the summer, Egypt is planning on taking its star player Mohamed Salah to the competition. Egypt has already named Salah apart of their 50 man squad but may not get their way if Liverpool decides not to release him. The Reds hold the ultimate decision to either release him or keep him from going if the competition will stand in their way.
FIFA has chimed in their own two cents saying Liverpool is not “under obligation” to release the Egyptian. Despite Egypt’s Olympic coach Shawky Gharib adding the Reds star to the games as one of the three over-aged players that were permitted for the Under-23 side.
Jurgen Klopp has been reluctant on releasing the player due to the time schedule in which it falls. The 2020 Olympics will run from July 24 to August 9 in Tokyo, Japan. Permitting Salah to go would mean Klopp would have to do without his forefront man during the pre-season and the start of the 2020/21 Premier League season.
With Egypt keen on Salah joining their squad in Tokyo, FIFA has now released a statement saying the decision is in Liverpool’s hands.
“The men’s Olympic Football Tournament, as well as all Fifa competitions with age restrictions, are not included in the men’s international match calendar 2018-2024, and thus clubs are not under the obligation to release players for the competition,” said a Fifa spokesperson
Salah who is said to be contemplating his decision will have the job of convincing Klopp if he decides to attend the Olympics. On the other hand, Klopp could butter Salah up with more FA Cup and UEFA Champions League playing time which will ultimately influence his decision and creating the need for more rest during the off-season.
After joining Liverpool from Roma in 2017, the winger proved exceptional worth every penny. Having scored 45 goals in 50 league games at Anfield. The Egyptian star is a key member of Klopp’s squad and has been in sensational form this season. Having won 41 games and has drawn nine games at Anfield the Egyptian has never lost a game at Anfield thus far.
Nigeria was faced with a similar dilemma during the 2016 Olympics. During Kelechi Iheanacho’s spell at Manchester City, he was prevented from participating g in the competition by his former club.