Egypt’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr Ashraf Sobhy, has said that his ministry has put plans in place to use football star Mohamed Salah’s stunning success as a blueprint and create many more “Mo Salah” for the future.
“We have put plans in place for academies and football clubs to create a number of Mo Salah in the coming years,” said Dr Sobhy. He was visiting Dubai to launch the 14th edition of the Dubai International Sports Creativity Symposium on Wednesday. He also gave a presentation titled “Youth and Sports – Future Prospects”.
“Mo Salah is a brand today and we will use this brand for the betterment of Egyptian football and sports. His success is a beacon and a blueprint that we can implement at both the macro and micro level for generations to come,” said Sobhy.
Dr Sobhy said that Salah’s success has opened doors not just for Egyptian football players, but for players from across the Arab world, and there is a great opportunity in front of us to build on this success. “So we have set plans in motion that will, hopefully, create many more Mo Salah,” he said.
Salah has risen rapidly up the popularity charts since moving to Liverpool from Roma in the summer of 2017. A sensational debut season, the Egypt international broke Liverpool’s scoring record for a debut season with 32 goals in 36 Premier League games, a feat which helped him win the League’s Golden Boot for the season.
Salah also became the first player to win three Premier League Player of the Month awards in the same season and his record-breaking performances saw him receive a number of other accolades at the end of the 2017–18 season, including the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, the Football Writers' Player of the Year and the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year awards.
“Salah made it to the top three in the Fifa awards, so that puts him in a different league,” said Dr Sobhy. “But we have a number of other young players, who have the talent and the hunger. They are just waiting for their chance.” Creating those opportunities, Dr Sobha said, will be crucial in the future.
“We have to think out of the box,” he said. “Come up with audacious ideas and innovate. We have to show strategic intent. We also need to find out what our youth want – we need to know their version in order to channel their talents in the right direction. To sum it up – Don’t just play the game, change the game,” said Sobhy.