We were prepared for this news earlier this week, but on Sunday the head coach of Egypt’s national team made it official by announcing via press conference that Mohamed Salah would not be participating in Egypt’s upcoming World Cup qualifier against Angola.
“Salah and Elneny are out of Angola game, but we are trying our best to bring them to Gabon match,” Hossam Elbadry said.
“We had to pick the best collection of players that are available for these important games. Our full focus is on World Cup qualifications games against Angola and Gabon, and we might bring new players to Arab cup squad.”
The announcement follows Liverpool sending a letter to the Egyptian national team, stating that they would not be releasing Mohamed Salah for the matches anyway, due to Egypt still being a red-list country for the UK as the pandemic continues. If he doesn’t travel for the match against Angola, it is unlikely he will travel for Gabon, as well.
Salah is not the only player, as the league had announced that no player from a red-list country would be released to their national teams during the September and October international breaks, as they would be required to enter into a 10 day quarantine upon their return.
FIFA of course opposes these decisions, but Ligue 1 in France and Serie A in Italy are backing their own clubs in similar decisions to let those players who represent their version of red-listed countries stay with their clubs during the international break.
It’s nice to see players being backed by their own leagues for once, and we hope that it means Salah gets a bit of rest or extra training with Liverpool, instead of the Pharaohs.