No Salah: Egypt head to Tokyo without star striker after Liverpool refusal

No Salah: Egypt head to Tokyo without star striker after Liverpool refusal
Egyptian football star Mohamed Salah will not be allowed to play with his national team at the Tokyo Olympics after his club Liverpool refused to release him for the tournament.
2 min read
07 July, 2021
Mo Salah will not be released by Liverpool for the Olympic tournament [Getty]

Football icon Mohamed Salah has been blocked by his club Liverpool from playing with the Egyptian national team at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the chairman of Egypt's Football Association has said.

"We started talking with them a long time ago because Salah wanted to play the Olympic Games, but Liverpool were unclear," Ahmed Megahed told the BBC.

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

Because the Olympic Games are not a FIFA fixture, football clubs are not obliged to release players to take part in the event.

However, the BBC reported that English club Manchester United have released two Ivorian players to take part in the Olympics.

Egyptian coach Shawky Gharib expressed his disappointment with Liverpool’s decision to the BBC.

"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," he said.

"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."

Salah has not commented on the decision.

Two other Egyptian stars will also not be joining their country’s Olympic squad. Aston Villa's Mohammed "Trezeguet" Hassan is injured while Mostafa Mohamed, who was set to be Egypt's main striker, will also not be released by Galatasaray.

"Now we need to stop thinking about something that won't be happening and focus on our campaign," Gharib told the BBC. 

Egypt are in the same group as Spain, Argentina, and Australia at the Olympics. They announced their squad on Friday.