You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Mo Salah considers quitting Egypt national team over Ramzan Kadyrov connection during World Cup

Mirror logo Mirror 25-06-2018 Alex Richards
a man looking at the camera: Salah training on Sunday © Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Salah training on Sunday

Liverpool star Mo Salah is considering ending his international career when the World Cup reaches its conclusion.

Salah, who scored 44 goals for the Reds last season, is set for an early exit from the finals in Russia after the Pharaohs lost their opening two matches.

The forward scored a penalty in the second game against the hosts, but Hector Cuper's men were beaten both by Russia and Uruguay.

UP NEXT
UP NEXT
They take on Saudi Arabia on Monday, amid suggestions that the 25-year-old could be about to pull out of the national side.

Salah had expressed shock last week that he was thinking about leaving before the final group match.

But now Salah and his representatives are increasingly unhappy at what they perceive as the Liverpool star being used as a political pawn by the Egyptian FA.

a man standing next to a football ball on a field: Salah hasn't been able to save Egypt © Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Salah hasn't been able to save Egypt Salah is claimed to be assessing his future, following what has turned into something of a debacle at Egypt's training base in Grozny, the capital of the Chechen Republic.

As Salah looked to regain fitness and shrug off the shoulder injury suffered against Real Madrid in the Champions League final ahead of the tournament, he was pictured walking beside Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov, leader of Chechnya since 2004, has been accused of numerous human rights violations, including discriminating against women and persecuting sexual minorities.

a man talking on a cell phone: Salah looked unhappy for much of Sunday training © Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Salah looked unhappy for much of Sunday training On Friday he made Salah an honorary citizen of the Chechen Republic, during a banquet held to say goodbye to the Egypt sqyad. Kadyrov posed with Salah and Hany Abo Ride, chairman of Egypt's football federation for pictures.

"Mohamed Salah is an honorary citizen of the Chechen Republic! That's right!" the Chechen leader wrote in a social media post. "I gave Mohamed Salah a copy of the order and a pin at a celebratory dinner that I gave in honour of the Egyptian team."

A video of the encounter released by the Russian state-funded news agency RT showed Salah smiling as Kadyrov gave a short speech and pinned a badge bearing the Chechen flag to the Liverpool forward’s shirt. Salah was also given a silver plate and a signed jersey from FC Akhmat Grozny, the football club Kadyrov has renamed in honour of his father.

Ramzan Kadyrov et al. standing in front of a building: Mo Salah and the head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov © AFP Mo Salah and the head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov It has been claimed that Kadyrov is looking to use sport as a means to bolster his image, and that he is using Salah to enhance his reach towards potential allies in North Africa and the Middle East. Kadyrov is looking to further diplomatic relations between the semi-autonomous state over which he rules and foreign governments, while also increasing foreign investment in the republic.

Kadyrov has hit back at such suggestions, telling the BBC: “Everyone has played here, even Maradona at our stadium, but we don’t use this kind of thing for politics. Our enemies are paid to write things like that. I didn’t invite Mo Salah or the Egyptian team. They chose us themselves.”

However, when Salah missed Egypt's opening practice after arriving in the region, Kadyrov reportedly went to the team hotel and drove Salah to the stadium himself, to meet fans and take pictures with Salah on the pitch.

Salah's agent, Ramy Abbas, tweeted that he was "fuming" on Saturday, in regards what has become an increasingly strained relationship between the Egyptian FA and its star player.

a man sitting on a table: Salah and Kadyrov at the dinner © Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Salah and Kadyrov at the dinner Ahead of the tournament there was also a bitter row over image rights before Egypt even travelled to the World Cup. Salah and his agent were enraged that his image featured prominently on the national team’s plane provided by official sponsor ‘WE’ when the player has his own individual deal with rival telecommunications firm Vodafone.

CNN have stated that a source has told them Salah is now considering his international future following Friday's banquet and feels he has been left exposed.

Salah has not spoken publicly since arriving in Chechnya.

Referring to the pictures of Salah with the Chechen leader, Abbas tweeted: "When it was once said that a picture speaks a thousand words, apparently not. So here are the words: regardless of background, ethnicity, orientation, preferences, everyone deserves respect, and equal rights. #RespectForAll ."

Salah, who trained on Sunday with the rest of the Egypt side, is set to start against the Saudis on Monday.


More from The Mirror

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon