Mohamed Salah will be given the March international break off by Egypt with the nation already qualified for this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations as hosts and the manager eager to give some of his key players a break.
“Mohamed Salah will not play the Niger game in the AFCON qualifiers or the Nigeria friendly,” said EFA vice president Ahmed Shobier “[West Brom centre half] Ahmed Hegazi will probably also be left out of the squad.”
This will come as welcome news for Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool, and given the amount Salah has played for club and country in recent years it seems a prudent decision by his national team to give him the time off when they can.
Despite being guaranteed a spot in this summer’s final tournament, Egypt have been involved in the qualification tournament from the start as Cameroon were initially selected hosts for the 2019 edition of AFCoN.
When Egypt ended up with hosting duties they had already clinched qualification along with Tunisia, the two top teams in their group. Now, whether they finish first or second, as hosts they will be seeded at Team One in Group A.
However, while their remaining matches won’t impact their place, they could decide where Tunisia are seeded in the tournament. Still, for Egypt, their upcoming “qualification” matches are for all intents and purposes meaningless.