Egypt coach Shawky Gharib has revealed that Liverpool are yet to confirm whether Mohamed Salah can participate in the Olympic Games.
The winger enjoyed an excellent season for the Reds, finishing again as the club’s highest scorer. The 29-year-old netted 31 goals in all competitions and is subsequently enjoying well-deserved time off. However, the prospect of participation in the Olympics is round the corner for Salah.
Should he travel to Tokyo, he will be unavailable for Reds manager Jurgen Klopp between July 23 and August 8.
Indeed, he would miss pre-season and likely the first game of the campaign, at least. Klopp has a history of standing against international football’s interference with club matters.
Egypt Under-23 coach Gharib – who manages the country’s Olympics team – has insisted that his colleagues have contacted Liverpool over their stance.
“The EFA have not informed us that our request was rejected either.
“When a new development takes place, we will be officially informed directly.”
The Olympics’ football competition typically sees countries field Under-23 teams. Thus, Gharib takes responsibility for his nation’s participation.
However, Salah could qualify as one of three players over the age of 23 allowed in under the regulations.
Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny is also a likely candidate for selection on that basis.
Meanwhile, the temporary head of the Egypt FA has revealed Salah’s mindset on going to Tokyo.
Liverpool’s Salah wants Olympics role
“We sent a message to Liverpool management to announce our willingness to call Salah to Tokyo, they replied saying that they will discuss the situation with the player,” Ahmed Megahed told MBC MASR.
“I can say that Salah wants to play at the Olympic Games. He wants to help Egypt, and I hope Liverpool will say yes.”
Egypt are in Group C at the Olympics and will face Spain, Australia and Argentina.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are looking to build on a strong end to the season. They eight and drew two of their final 10 games to storm back into the Premier League’s top four.