Fans have asked if Liverpool will discipline Mo Salah after the ruthless Egyptian hero was danced in front of the camera without a mask at his brother’s wedding, leading them to label his behavior as “irresponsible” and “disgusting”.
The Egyptian Federation (EFA) announced that Salah had tested positive on Friday afternoon, only to quickly replace the clues about their star striker with the announcement that three players had retested.
Salah was scheduled to play at home against Togo on Saturday and for his country in the second leg on Tuesday, but his presence is now in serious doubt after it was revealed he had caught Covid-19 and a video was circulated in which he danced in a crowd at his brother’s wedding before joining the Egyptian training camp.
Fans of the Pharaohs and Liverpool, who play a home game against early Premier League pacemaker Leicester next Saturday, will breathe a sigh of relief if Salah’s result is a false alarm, although the actions of the Champions League winner showed little sympathy.
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“If so, it shows a total lack of commitment to your profession,” wrote one disgruntled observer of the footage, which drew hundreds of thousands of viewers after it was published by an Egyptian magazine.
“Both Egypt and Liverpool should be angry. It is okay to go to the wedding, but control your contact with others at this point.”
Others argued that Salah was not breaking the law and complying with local guidelines, which has been countered by critics who insisted that Salah’s status as a top athlete gave him additional responsibility to stay healthy and protect others during the pandemic.
Football authorities and national teams have been heavily criticized for seeing many an unnecessary round of international games this week, sending Salah thousands of kilometers around the world to make agreements that have already been blamed for causing new infections.
Croatian captain Domagoj Vida noted that he would get a positive test result at halfway through his nation’s game in Turkey, and Irish midfielder Alan Browne’s diagnosis was only revealed after playing a full game against an English side full of Premier League -Stars had contested at Wembley.
Salah endured a more personal immediate backlash for completely disapproving of social distancing during the rough scenes in Cairo, when he was shown dancing in the middle of the circle with a mask lowered to his chin.
He was seen dancing with a woman who at one point appeared to be his brother’s bride and also attended a ceremony to recognize his accomplishments in the Egyptian capital during the week that saw many veterans of the sport and former national team managers took part.
While pictures showed the audience wearing masks at the awards ceremony and observed social distance, Salah chose not to wear any when he went on stage to accept the Inspirer Award for his work as a role model for millions of young people around the world.
If so, it shows a complete lack of commitment to your profession. Both Egypt and Liverpool should be angry. Going to the wedding is okay, but control your exposure to others at this point.
– Petesaardvark (@petesaardvark) November 13, 2020
I can’t help but wonder if the club has been notified of this (or has given them permission to attend). Incredibly irresponsible if so. If not, that’s a whole different question and not really the fault of international football, as much as I despise it.
– Grobbelrevell * (@markbrucerevell) November 13, 2020
“Surely he will be disciplined by the club for that?” an observer asked and wrote just days after Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had vehemently questioned the concerns expressed by international associations for the well-being of the players.
Klopp was frustrated by injuries to some of his players and now has to wait just as eagerly as Salah to find out whether his positive test result is confirmed.
Several members of Klopp’s squad have already missed Premier League games because of Covid-19. Thiago Alcantara, Sadio Mane and Xherdan Shaqiri have all returned positive tests, and Naby Keita was reportedly diagnosed while on international service with Guinea last month.
“He’s at his brother’s wedding,” said an apologist for Salah, expressing an opinion that Klopp or the Egyptian manager Hossam El Badry probably wouldn’t convince.
He’s at his brother’s wedding and can’t stop players from attending family weddings
– Ac272 (@ GeorgeG60648904) November 13, 2020
All this contact and he didn’t dive to the ground screaming for a pen. Are we sure it’s Salah?
– azul (@thechicoazul) November 13, 2020
Surely he will be disciplined by the club for this?
– Rich (@ Richard27700612) November 13, 2020
“You can’t stop the players from going to their own family weddings.”
Another joked, “All this contact and he didn’t fall to the ground screaming for a penalty. Are we sure it’s Salah?”
The EFA’s revised statement reads: “The Ministry of Health laboratories have indicated that three players from the Egyptian and Togolese teams tested positive before tomorrow’s game between the two teams.
“Further tests will be carried out for the above players to determine their position to participate.”
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