Calling this an odd one: Liverpool FC and Mohamed Salah agreed to refer Salah to the Merseyside Police after a fan video showed him scrolling through his mobile phone while stuck in traffic. It’s a pretty surreal situation, which will likely end in a drop-in-the-bucket fine for the Egyptian superstar.
The video itself is about one minute long, but mildly infuriating. It shows several adults and some children chasing after Salah’s car in traffic, filming him and trying to get him to sign things for them. Salah brakes at a stop in traffic and begins fiddling with his phone until traffic eases and he looks up and drives again. The children and, let me stress again, grown adults continue to follow his car — the children calling for him, the adults berating his inattention — as he continues to focus on his phone. Then the traffic lets up, Salah looks out the window, gives the children a thumbs up and drives away.
This video was referred to the Merseyside Police, because of Salah breaking a law and using his phone while driving. Early Monday morning, the police tweeted about it:
ℹ️ We have been made aware of a video believed to show a footballer using a mobile phone whilst driving. This has been passed to the relevant department. Thanks for letting us know— MerPolCC (@MerPolCC) August 13, 2018
The footballer in question was Salah, and later that day, Liverpool FC released a statement to the ECHO regarding the matter, which read:
“The club, after discussion with the player, have made Merseyside Police aware of the footage and the circumstances surrounding it’s [sic] capture.
“We have spoken to the player also and will deal with any follow-up internally.
”Neither the club or player will be making any further comment on this matter.”
Using your phone while driving is bad and stupid. Don’t do it. Don’t text while driving, don’t scroll through Twitter while driving, don’t do any of that. It’s needlessly dangerous and could lead to hurting yourself or others.
With that out of the way: I’m not a mind reader, and Salah doesn’t say a word throughout the video, but as a person who has definitely faked scrolling through my phone to avoid an interaction, I’d bet that this is what’s happening here.
Please, don’t hassle players who are driving. Don’t follow their vehicles and knock on their windows while they’re in traffic. And definitely don’t encourage your children to do the same thing.
Back in January 2017, players were banned from signing autographs outside of Melwood because of exactly this type of situation. Large groups of fans were crowding around the players’ vehicles, creating dangerous situations that were further compounded by the fans following the cars down the residential road outside of the compound.
This time, Salah was driving in traffic, surrounded by other cars. He couldn’t stop and sign anything, and any interaction would only encourage the continuation of behavior which the club clearly wants to stop — and for good reason.
The children may have just been excited to see their favorite footballer. The adults really should know better, and if anyone deserves to come out of this incident in a negative light, it’s them.