With the Africa Cup of Nations moving back to January for 2021, Liverpool face a major headache with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, Naby Keïta, and perhaps Joël Matip potentially set to be involved.
Now they face a double headache on the Salah front, with the Egyptian star set to be called on as an overage player at the 2020 Olympics—though rather bizarrely, nobody has actually talked to Salah about it yet.
“Out of the three senior players we’ll call up, Salah is the only one we’re settled on so far,” Egypt U23 coach Shawky Gharib told ON Sport today. “He’s simply one of the top three players in the world.
“Nobody from the Olympic national team technical staff contacted Mohamed Salah to talk about it. We left it with [Egyptian Football Association chief] Amr El-Ganainy, who should contact the player.”
The process of it all does seem rather amateurish, and in that it echoes past problems Salah has had with the operation of his country’s national team as when he clashed over multiple issues at the 2018 World Cup.
And for what it’s worth, Salah’s agent quickly took to Twitter to say that “no decision has been made yet” when it comes to the player’s potential involvement with the Egyptian national team at Tokyo 2020.
Still, one imagines Salah would have a hard time turning down his country whenever they do actually get around to formally letting him know they’d like him to play for them at the Olympics this summer.
The football tournament is set to run from the 22nd of July through to the 8th of August, meaning that if he does end up going, Salah would get little time off this summer and miss pre-season.