‘It is a decision for Salah, Liverpool and Klopp’: Egypt BACKTRACK over winger’s involvement at Tokyo 2020
- Egypt want to select Mohamed Salah for their squad at the Olympics
- The coach has however admitted that the decision is out of his hands
- Shawky Gharib intends to include Salah as one of three over-age players
Mohamed Salah’s participation at Tokyo 2020 is a matter for Liverpool and the player, according to Egypt’s Olympic coach.
Salah could miss pre-season and the start of the Premier League if he plays in the tournament, with the final due to be held on August 8 – the day the 2020-21 campaign gets underway.
Shawky Gharib has already outlined his intention to include Salah as one of three over-age players, but now admits the decision is not up to him.
Mohamed Salah’s participation at Tokyo 2020 is a matter for Liverpool and the player
‘Salah’s participation with the Pharaohs team in Tokyo is a decision to be taken only by Salah, his club Liverpool and his coach Jurgen Klopp,’ said Gharib.
‘We cannot force Salah to participate with us because FIFA regulations do not compel him to participate.’
Gharib wants to include Salah in a preliminary 50-man squad, which will be whittled down to 18 in June.
This week the player’s agent claimed no decision had been made about him representing the national team.
On Wednesday, Egypt confirmed their plans to name the Liverpool star in their squad this summer.
Egypt want to select Salah for the Olympics but the matter is out of their hands, the coach says
Gharib, speaking to ON Sport, said of Salah: ‘Out of the three senior players we’ll call-up, Salah is the only one we’re settled on so far because he’s simply one of the top three players in the world.
‘I haven’t talked to Salah at all about him joining the Under-23 squad for the Olympics, but in all honesty, his participation in the Olympics will need a little effort from him as well.’
Liverpool could be without Salah for a significant chunk of next season after it was announced last month that the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations will take place from January 9 to February 6.