Liverpool informed the Egyptian Football Association that they would not sack Mohamed Salah for the men’s Olympic football tournament in Tokyo 2020.
According to the chairman of the Egyptian Football Association, Salah wanted to represent his nation in Tokyo this summer but was refused by his club.
Clubs are not obliged to field players for the men’s Olympic football tournament, as the competition is not officially recognized in the FIFA game calendar.
The Tokyo Olympics run from July 22nd to August 7th, a week before the Premier League starts, so Liverpool told the Egyptian Federation that they would not allow Salah to compete.
“We started talking to them a long time ago because Salah wanted to play the Olympics but Liverpool was unclear,” Ahmed Megahed told BBC Sport Africa.
“I knew in June they wouldn’t let him go. Anyway, we respect their decision.
“I’ve tried many, many times with Liverpool, as well as the Egyptian Football Association, to convince them to include Salah on the Olympic team, but they completely refused.
“Mohamed wanted to play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He spoke to me, I did my best to get him. Salah was a key player in my Olympic plans. But the club refused – we have to keep going.”
Salah has not commented publicly on the Olympics, Egypt announced its roster on Friday.
Gharib was also unable to select Mohamed Trezeguet from Aston Villa due to an injury. The Villa and Salah winger should be two of Gharibs approved players in the squad.
The men’s Olympic football squads are usually limited to players under the age of 23 (with three over-ages), but this has been changed to under 24 after the Tokyo Games were postponed for a year due to Covid-19.
Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino, who spent the second half of last season on loan, was also not selected as one of Japan’s aging players, while new signing Ibrahima Konate is also expected to be available for the start of the pre-season on July 12 as the club did has declined a request from France.