Thursday Feb 13, 2020. 14:00
Mohamed Salah has been included in an expansive 50-man provisional squad for Egypt’s football team at the 2020 Olympics, but participation at the Games could see him miss the start of the next Premier League season.
The final of the Olympic tournament is on August 8 – the same day as the start of the 2020/21 Premier League season.
Egypt Olympic coach Shawky Gharib is hopeful Salah will represent the country at Tokyo 2020, but admits that the choice lies with the player.
“Salah is one of the top three players in the world and any team hopes to have a player of his capabilities and skills in the squad … I have chosen Salah in an expanded list of 50 players to select 18 players heading to Tokyo,” Gharib is quoted by The National.
“Salah’s participation with the Pharaohs team in Tokyo is a decision to be taken only by Salah, his club Liverpool and his coach Jurgen Klopp.
“We cannot force Salah to participate with us because FIFA regulations do not compel him to participate.”
If Salah were to join up with the Olympic team, he would take up one of three slots assigned to overage players in what is otherwise an U-23 tournament.
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”.
Gharib responded: “The agent’s comment does not offend anyone … what he said is the same truth.
“The final list that will include 18 players will be sent next June, so it is too early to talk about the names of the 18 players.”