Mohamed Salah won’t feature in Tokyo Olympics

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Mohamed Salah will not make it into Egypt’s Olympic team for Tokyo 2020 Olympics which is scheduled to commence on August 7, 2021. Liverpool would not allow the 29-year-old forward to join the country’s Olympic team.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has been trying to lure Liverpool to release the versatile football star so that he could represent the country in the Olympic men’s football tournament in Tokyo 2020. But the Premier League club failed to approve the request.

After a series of back and forth, Liverpool wrote to the Egyptian authorities that Mohamed Salah would not be available for the country ahead of the sports festival.

Egypt planned to make Mohamed Salah one of the three overaged players they are permitted to take to the Tokyo Olympics. But the winger is too important not to be available for Liverpool when the 2021-2022 season kicks off.

Fortunately for Liverpool, clubs have the right to permit or deny players the opportunity of playing in the Olympics. Hence, the club kicked against the Egyptian proposal.

The Tokyo Olympics which was postponed from last summer to this summer due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic will kick off on August 7, 2021, about a week before the commencement of the Premier League season.

Mohamed Salah in action for Egypt national team.

If Mohamed Salah is allowed to go for the Olympics, he might not be available for Liverpool in the first three weeks of the new season, depending on how far Egypt go in the sports festival.

EFA president, Ahmed Megahed told BBC Africa that the FA started talking to Liverpool long before now because Mohamed Salah showed interest in playing in the Olympics.

While noting that he was aware since June that Liverpool would not allow Salah to feature in the Olympics, the football administrator said the Egyptian FA respects the decision of Liverpool.

“We started talking with them a long time ago because Salah wanted to play the Olympic Games, but Liverpool were unclear,” he said.

“I knew in June they would not let him go. Anyway, we respect their decision.

“I tried many, many times with Liverpool, as did the Egypt FA, to persuade them to let Salah be a part of the Olympic team but they refused completely.

“Mohamed wanted to play the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. He talked with me, I did my best to bring him. Salah was a key player in my Olympic plans. But the club refused – we need to move on.”

Mohamed Salah in action for Liverpool.
Mohamed Salah in action for Liverpool.

At the time of publishing this report, Mohamed Salah was yet to publicly comment on Liverpool’s decision to deny him the opportunity of playing in the Olympics.

Based on the pictures he has been sharing on Twitter, he has been somewhere in Egypt enjoying his holiday. The Egyptian football star is expected to return to Liverpool this July to start preparing for the coming season.