Liverpool have refused to release Mohamed Salah to play in Egypt’s upcoming World Cup qualifier with Angola because of quarantine restrictions he would face on his return.
The Egyptian Football Association released a statement on Monday announcing that Liverpool had informed the governing body Salah would not be allowed to join his country at their camp for the fixtures with Angola on September 2 and Gabon on September 5.
“The Egyptian Football Association has received a letter from Liverpool FC apologising for the inability of its player, Mohamed Salah, to join the national team in its next camp, which includes facing Angola in Cairo and Gabon in Franceville during the first and second rounds of the African continent’s qualifiers for the World Cup,” the statement read.
“The English club’s letter referred to the precautionary measures applied in England to confront the outbreak of the coronavirus in the world, which puts returnees from some countries in compulsory health isolation for a period of 10 days upon their return to England.
“In this letter, the English club also expressed its hope that the Egyptian Federation would understand that it was forced to do so, in the face of the player being subjected to a quarantine for this period and being affected by this physically, as well as the uncertainty of the conditions determined by the English authorities. It is reported that Liverpool FC took the same position with a number of its foreign players.”
As Egypt is on the UK Government’s travel red list, Salah would have to quarantine for 10 days upon his return from the camp, meaning he would miss Liverpool’s Premier League fixture with Leeds United on September 12.
However, the club are reportedly happy for Salah to travel to Franceville for the game against Gabon, which is on the UK’s amber list. Salah would not have to quarantine after visiting the country.
Liverpool and other members of the European Club Association (ECA) are said to have been seeking exemptions to allow their players to avoid quarantine, while the Egyptian FA has asked FIFA to try to resolve the issue.
Without exemptions, Liverpool are also expected to block Brazil internationals Alisson, Roberto Firmino and Fabinho from travelling for the Selecao’s next round of qualifiers.
Brazil remains on the UK red list as one of the countries worst affected by the pandemic. Tite’s men visit Chile before hosting Argentina on September 5.