Egypt U23 manager Shawky Gharib has confirmed that Liverpool star Mohamed Salah was in fact keen to link up with his country for this summer’s Olympic games, only to be left with little say in the matter.
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The attentions of the football world, this summer, have of course centered firmly on the European Championships.
Amid a superb tournament to date, during which all of the world champions, European champions and no.1 ranked outfit on the planet have been sent packing, just six nations, as things stand, remain in contention to clinch glory.
Elsewhere, over in South America, the highly anticipated Copa America has also reached its knockout phase, with favourites Brazil having joined Peru as the first pair of semi-finalists late last night.
Only 60 seconds into the second half Brazil takes the lead! ⚡️
And Lucas Paquetá scores his first goal of the tournament 🔥
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 3, 2021
In turn, whilst two of the most high-profile international competitions in world football continue to play out, it has come as little surprise to see the upcoming Olympic games slip somewhat under the radar amongst fans.
Nevertheless, later this month, stars from across the globe will come together in Tokyo, to battle it out for the ultimate prize – a gold medal.
‘A strong desire’
One nation, though, whose preparations for the Tokyo games had in fact grabbed headlines of late were Egypt.
This came with the Pharaohs having been desperate to include star man Mohamed Salah amongst their travelling contingent, as one of the nation’s permitted over-23 contingent.
Such wishes, in turn, led to inevitable concern amongst the Liverpool fanbase, with the Olympics scheduled to carry well into Premier League pre-season training camps.
Upon Egypt’s squad for the tournament being announced on Friday, though, much to the relief of the Reds’ faithful, Salah was nowhere to be seen.
But, as outlined above, if the explosive wide-man had had his own way, it appears that the outcome would have proven altogether different. That is if the latest comments on the part of Pharaohs U23 boss Shawky Gharib are anything to go by, anyway.
Speaking to MBC Masr this weekend, Gharib was inevitably drawn on Salah’s exclusion from his squad, with the tactician having gone on to explain:
‘All negotiations with Liverpool and Galatasaray have not been successful, as the two clubs want the two players with them in the coming period.’
‘The Turkish club signed Mostafa Mohamed in order to participate in European competitions, so it’s their right to keep him. The same goes for Liverpool.’
‘Mohamed Salah had a strong desire to be with the Olympic team in Tokyo and also Mostafa Mohamed, but what happened was out of their control.’
— KingFut.com (@King_Fut) July 3, 2021
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