Mohamed Salah’s potential involvement for his country in the Tokyo Olympic Games will be a decision for the player and his club Liverpool, Egypt’s Olympic coach told Reuters on Wednesday.
Media reports on Salah’s inclusion in a provisional 50-man squad led to speculation that Liverpool could be without Salah for the start of the next Premier League season.
But Egyptian Olympic team coach Shawky Gharib said they could not force the player to be involved.
“Salah’s participation with the Pharaohs team in Tokyo is a decision to be taken only by Salah, his club Liverpool and his coach Juergen Klopp,” he said.
“We cannot force Salah to participate with us because FIFA regulations do not compel him to participate.”
The Olympic tournament is for Under-23 teams but three over-age players are allowed in each squad. FIFA has long acknowledged that clubs are not obliged to release over-age players for the Games.
Salah was part of the Liverpool team which won the Champions League last season and they are now runaway leaders in the Premier League with the Egyptian their top scorer on 14 goals.
In response to Salah’s inclusion in the squad, the player’s agent Ramy Abbas posted on Twitter that “no decision has been made yet” and Gharib said that view was correct.
“The agent’s comment does not offend anyone .. What he said is the same truth,” he said, noting that Klopp had not ruled out or backed his player featuring in Tokyo.
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