Liverpool have informed the Egyptian FA that they are refusing to release Mohamed Salah for international duty next week because of the restrictions which would be placed on him on his return by the UK government.
Liverpool, along with other members of the European Club Association, have held talks aimed at seeking ways to bypass UK restrictions on traveling to and from so-called ‘red list’ countries but with no agreement forthcoming, the club informed Egypt’s football authorities that they were refusing to release Salah ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Angola in Cairo on September 2.
However, Liverpool say that they have no concerns with Salah playing in another qualifier in Gabon three days later as that country remains on the UK’s ‘orange list’, meaning that no restrictions would apply on his return.
“The Egyptian Football Association has received a letter from Liverpool FC apologising for the inability of its player, Mohamed Salah, to join the national team in its next camp, which includes facing Angola in Cairo and Gabon in Franceville during the first and second rounds of the African continent’s qualifiers for the World Cup,” the group said in a statement.
“The English club’s letter referred to the precautionary measures applied in England to confront the outbreak of the coronavirus in the world, which puts returnees from some countries in compulsory health isolation for a period of 10 days upon their return to England.
“In this letter, the English club also expressed its hope that the Egyptian Federation would understand that it was forced to do so, in the face of the player being subjected to a quarantine for this period and being affected by this physically, as well as the uncertainty of the conditions determined by the English authorities. It is reported that Liverpool FC took the same position with a number of its foreign players.”
Among the other players who could be impacted by Liverpool’s stance on traveling to Covid-19 hot-spots include the Brazilian trio of Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino because, like Egypt, the South American country finds itself on the UK’s ‘red list’.
Liverpool were further aggrieved by FIFA’s decision to allow for three South American qualifiers to be played during the forthcoming international break – meaning that their Brazilian players would, in theory, play against Peru just three days before Liverpool’s away clash with Leeds United.
It remains highly likely that Liverpool will also block the release of these players unless some sort of quarantine amnesty can be agreed.
Other English clubs who have Brazilian players in their team who might be affected also includes Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and others.