Mohamed Salah will not feature for Egypt in their upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers after the Egyptian FA said his club Liverpool had refused to release the talismanic winger due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Egypt is scheduled to play Angola in Cairo on September 2 followed by Gabon on September 5 in Franceville.
However, with Egypt on the UK’s red list, Salah would be required to quarantine following his return from Cairo and miss two Premier League games.
A statement from the Egyptian FA said it had received a letter from Liverpool apologizing for being unable to release Salah and expressing its hope that the federation would understand that it had been “forced to do so”.
The statement added that the Egyptian FA continues its contacts with FIFA “to have international players be exempted from travel restrictions imposed on them in countries where they play due to coronavirus.”
Despite the refusal, the Egyptian FA said it was noteworthy that Liverpool had take a similar position regarding its other foreign players.
In November last year, Salah tested positive for COVID-19 while on international duty and consequently missed Egypt’s 2021 AFCON qualifier double header against Togo and one Premier League game.
The EFA had also wanted Salah to represent his country at the Olympic football tournament in Japan but said Liverpool had also denied that request.
Clubs do not have an obligation to release players for the men’s Olympic football tournament.