Invitation to Mohamed Salah Egypt blocked

Liverpool have rejected the Egyptian Football Association’s request to call Mohamed Salah to Pharaoh’s upcoming World Cup qualifier.

Egypt have important matches against Angola and Gabon in early September and hoped to use their talisman.

But according to FilGoal, Liverpool will not allow Salah to travel for the matches. Egypt is currently on Britain’s red list, meaning the forward would need to be quarantined for ten days after returning to Merseyside.

A potential solution, reported by Neil Jones, could see Salah play in his side’s away match against Gabon but not play in the Angola game. The former is on the yellow list so no quarantine would be required provided he does not test positive for Covid-19.

In March 2020, FIFA gave clubs the power to prevent their players from representing their countries in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus. Salah is unlikely to be the last Premier League player to be denied permission to travel.

Liverpool will also try to stop Roberto Firmino and Fabinho who drop out next week as Brazil is also on Britain’s red list. They can be powerless to stop these players from leaving, even if they have to be quarantined when they return.

As reported by the Daily Mail earlier this month, the temporary change that allowed clubs to veto international calls expired in April. As a result, a whole host of South American Premier League players could travel next month.

The qualification process for the CONMEBOL World Cup is currently on schedule after a number of matches were postponed in March last year. As a result, the teams are under pressure to play and Brazil alone has named nine England-based players in its squad.

In the past, football players have often been exempted from quarantine, as long as they have undertaken to test daily. This is unlikely to happen this time around, according to sources at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Similar conflicts are likely to arise during the international break in October unless clearer guidelines are presented.

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