Thursday Dec 09, 2021. 16:00
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) are still mulling over Liverpool’s request for Mohamed Salah to have a late release from the club ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations.
FIFA regulations dictate that international players should be released from their clubs 14 days before a major tournament.
This would mean that Salah, as well as fellow African Reds stars Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, should leave for their national team camps after Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Leeds United on December 26.
However, manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that the club have requested to keep the players for crucial matches against Leicester City and Chelsea on December 28 and January 2 respectively.
Klopp is hoping that he can keep his African stars for the matches, though he acknowledges that the decision is out of his control: “It has not been decided yet. I am an optimistic person. So, I’m hoping for it, but it’s not written in stone and not completely in our hands.”
This would be allowed only if the respective national associations agree to the late release, and the EFA revealed on Wednesday that they are considering the request very carefully.
“We already received the request. It is still under consideration, and no answer has been given yet,” EFA spokesperson Osama Ismail revealed, as quoted by Ahram Online.
In addition, National team director Wael Gomaa told Ahram Online this past weekend that Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz has not made a decision yet regarding Liverpool’s request.
Salah will be a key man for the Pharaohs as they seek a record-extending eighth AFCON title in the upcoming tournament in Cameroon, where they are scheduled to face Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau and Sudan in Group D.