NO MO ZONE Liverpool warned Mohamed Salah is desperate for three-month break to play in AFCON and Olympics by ex-Egypt star Mido

MIDO has warned Liverpool that the pull of the Pharaohs will be too great for Mohamed Salah in 2021 — and they simply cannot stop him.


Posted Friday, April 03, 2020 by Thesun.co.uk

Kop boss Jurgen Klopp faces the prospect of being without star striker Salah for several MONTHS due to international duty with Egypt.

NO MO ZONE Liverpool warned Mohamed Salah is desperate for three-month break to play in AFCON and Olympics by ex-Egypt star Mido
Liverpool star Mohamed Salah and (inset) ex-Egypt striker Mido, who has warned Reds they face three months without their talisman

First there is the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon next January and February, before the Tokyo Olympics in July and August.

But former Egypt forward Mido insists playing for his country is too important to 27-year-old Salah — while Fifa rules also dictate in his country’s favour.

Mido, who played for Tottenham during a 14-year career, said: “Salah must go with Egypt to AFCON — and Liverpool don’t have the right to say no.

"These are Fifa rules and they can’t prevent Salah from joining the national team for any reason. If Salah doesn’t want to go, then this is the only reason for not seeing him.

"All African players had this problem when we were in England. So I was happy when the 2019 AFCON was played in the summer.

"This kept the African stars away from any problem with their clubs but the Confederation of African Football decided to go back to the old schedule.

"Salah is very important, of course, to our senior national team and to the Olympic team.

"A player with his experience and leadership . . . he can make the difference.

"He will be one of the most important players in the tournament, not only for Egypt. We now know the Olympics will be held in the summer of 2021.

"So hopefully things will go normally and the season will be finished by then and he will have the chance to play with the Olympic team.”

Well-travelled Mido, 37, turned out for five English clubs in total and still keeps a close eye on events in the Premier League while in Egypt.

He is saddened football has been temporarily cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. But he says events in the world are more important.

Mido said: “Of course, Salah would be disappointed, like everyone else at Liverpool, if the season gets called off.

"But they will get over it. Even if the season is called null and void, they will be the favourites again next season. Life doesn’t stop.

"We all hope things get better in England and the Premier League and the FA will be able to continue the season — even in the summer.

NO MO ZONE Liverpool warned Mohamed Salah is desperate for three-month break to play in AFCON and Olympics by ex-Egypt star Mido
Jurgen Klopp is keen to hold on to Mo Salah for pre-season rather than lose him to international duty Credit: Times Newspapers Ltd

"Finishing the season should be the target of everyone. But if things stay as they are, I think the season should be called null and void.

"I know it sounds unfair — and it is for Liverpool and their fans as they were very close to winning the title.

"But it’d be ridiculous to talk about football and about the importance of winning anything if things stay as they are — or get worse.”

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