According to the Egyptian FA, Liverpool has blocked Mohamed Salah from competing in the Olympic Games.
The Games are set to take place in Tokyo this month, one year after they were originally scheduled, and the Reds ace is expected to play for his country in the Japanese city.
However, because Olympic events are not on the official FIFA calendar, clubs are not obligated to release players, therefore Liverpool may turn down Salah and Egypt’s request.
Shawky Gharib, Egypt’s manager, has stated that he has urged the Premier League club on multiple occasions to release talismanic striker and star player Salah.
‘I tried many, many times with Liverpool, as did the Egypt FA, to persuade them to let Salah be a part of the Olympic team but they refused completely,’ he said, as reported by the BBC.
‘Mohamed wanted to play the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. He talked with me, I did my best to bring him. Salah was a key player in my Olympic plans. But the club refused – we need to move on.’
The tournament will end on August 7, a week before the start of the Premier League, with Jurgen Klopp’s team eager to give Salah a full pre-season.
Galatasaray, meanwhile, has refused to let attacker Mostafa Mohamed leave the club, dealing another setback to Gharib’s ambitions ahead of the Olympic group games against Argentina, Spain, and Australia.
Gharib added: ‘Mostafa Mohamed was going to be the main striker in my team, but the same happened with his club. They refused to let him go as they will play important matches – I cannot do anything.
‘I even wanted to bring Trezeguet but he picked up an injury with Villa. Now we need to stop thinking about something that won’t be happening and focus on our campaign.’
After Egypt revealed their squad selection on Friday, Salah, whose goals helped the country to their first World Cup in 28 years in Russia 2018, has yet to openly remark on the choice.
Egypt FA President Ahmed Megahed told BBC Sport Africa: ‘We started talking with them a long time ago because Salah wanted to play the Olympics but Liverpool were unclear. I knew in June they would not let him go. Anyway we respect their decision.’