More than 370,000 people have signed a petition calling for UEFA and FIFA to punish Sergio Ramos for hurting Mohamed Salah during Saturday night’s Champions League final clash between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Kiev.
In addition to the two costly blunders committed by goalkeeper Loris Karius, the early loss of top scorer and multiple-award winning star Salah at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium dealt a massive blow to the Reds’ hopes of claiming a sixth European title.
With many anticipating an exhilarating showdown between the Egyptian and Real talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, Salah left the pitch in tears after less than half an hour having suffered a serious-looking shoulder injury.
A Change.org petition to FIFA and UEFA calling for Sergio Ramos to be punished for his part in Mohamed Salah’s Champions League final injury has reached over 370,000 signatures
Liverpool forward Salah suffered a shoulder problem during a tussle with the Real Madrid man
The issue was sustained during a tussle with Ramos, who appeared to lock arms with the influential former Chelsea forward before an awkward landing.
Such an incident has divided opinion and sparked renewed debate regarding the Real captain’s defensive methods.
Siding with the likes of former Egypt striker Mido in believing that Ramos acted intentionally is the creator of a Change.org petition that is well on its way to hitting an intended target of 500,000 signatures by Monday afternoon.
The petition alleges that the Spain stalwart ‘intentionally kept Mohamed Salah’s arm under his armpit, causing dislocation of his shoulder’.
It further claims that Ramos ‘represents an awful example to future generations of football players’ and that ‘instead of winning matches fairly, he uses tricks that defy the spirit of the game and fair play’.
Salah landed awkwardly after locking arms with Ramos at Kiev’s NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium
Salah’s injury unbalanced Liverpool’s side and they were not the same without him
PUNDITS IN SUPPORT OF RAMOS
Frank Lampard: ‘No, I don’t think so (that any blame could be attributed to Ramos).
‘He’s got close, like any defender should do and sometimes when you get that contact you do interlink arms and it’s more unfortunate in the end, the way he fell.’
Rio Ferdinand: ‘I think it was really good defending from Ramos and I don’t think he meant to do that (hurt Salah).’
‘UEFA and FIFA should take measures against Ramos and similar players, using the video recordings of matches to keep the spirit of the game,’ it finishes, also suggesting that the 32-year-old ‘kept acting that Liverpool players fouled him falsely, causing the referee to give (Sadio) Mane a yellow card he did not deserve’.
Plenty of pundits including BT Sport duo Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand have expressed their belief that the incident was purely accidental, however, while Ramos extended his best wishes to Salah on social media on Sunday.
‘Sometimes football shows you its good side and others the bad,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘Above all we are fellow pros. Get well soon, Salah. The future awaits you.’
While the petition states that Salah is set to miss the World Cup as a result of the injury picked up in Ukraine, the player subsequently revealed that he is confident of being fit for the tournament in Russia.
The Egyptian FA tweeted that team doctor Mohamed Abou El-Ela had been informed by Liverpool medical staff that Salah, who was taken to hospital for an x-ray and wore a sling, had a sprained shoulder joint and was optimistic of him being ready for the World Cup, where Egypt will compete in Group A alongside hosts Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia having secured qualification for the first time in 28 years.
However, he will likely miss warm-up friendlies against Colombia and Belgium on June 1 and June 6.