A senior official from the Egypt Football Association (EFA) has reportedly made a veiled threat against Mohamed Salah’s family after the Liverpool striker blamed the footballing body for Egypt’s disastrous World Cup campaign.
According to the New Arab, a Twitter account reportedly belonging to Khaled Lateif told Salah, the English Premier League’s Player of the Year for the 2017/2018 season, that while he no longer resided in Egypt, his mother still did.
“I’d like to remind @MoSalah that your mother is still in Egypt. So don’t act oblivious and like you can do as you wish because you live abroad. An intelligent man will understand.”
Lateif appeared to make the remarks shortly after Salah posted two videos on his official Facebook page criticising the EFA for the country’s poor World Cup campaign.
Egypt came bottom of their group after losses to hosts Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.
In one of the videos, Salah criticised a decision by the FA to set up its training base in Chechnya, hundreds of kilometres away from the squad’s games.
The camp was widely criticised as disorganised, open to Egyptian celebrities and media, and not focussed on essential training.
“We had many disturbances at the team’s camp during our participation at the World Cup in Russia,” Salah said, adding that he was disturbed in his room in the middle of the night by visitors wanting to “chat”.
“I’m the person that these things happen to. I’m the person who gets harmed by these things.”
During the tournament, Salah was also paraded around Grozny stadium by Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed leader.
CNN later reported that Salah was considering quitting the national team and was unwilling to be used by Egypt as a political pawn.
‘Pig in white’
Salah, who has scored 35 goals in 59 games for his country, has also been in a dispute with the EFA after his image featured prominently on the national team’s official plane.
Salah, who has an individual multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with Vodafone, was left frustrated and at risk of legal action after his face appeared on the jet which is co-sponsored by rival telecommunications firm WE.
The footballer lodged a complaint with the EFA but said he was ignored, prompting him to issue public statements online.
The EFA responded saying it would not meet “illogical” requests, maintaining it would “not favour one player over another”.
Magdy Abd El Gany, another senior member of Egyptian FA, also appeared to launch an attack on Salah on Tuesday, this time calling him a pig.
Pigs are an animal considered ritually unclean in Islam and believers are prohibited from consuming them.
“Here is a picture of me with four players and a pig in white,” Abdulghani said in a caption accompanying an image of himself, Mo Salah and four other footballers.
The EFA is known to have repeatedly flouted FIFA statutes regarding the politicisation of football associations.
Earlier this year, it held a press event to endorse the re-election of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
El-Sisi came to power in 2013 after toppling the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi.
Morsi served just one year of a four-year term before he was removed from power and the organisation to which he belonged to, the Muslim Brotherhood, was outlawed.