The Egyptian Football Association has denied reports that Mohamed Salah was on the verge of quitting international football due to being drawn into a political row during his stay in Chechnya during the World Cup.
“He has not discussed this issue with any of the delegation’s members. We are here at a sports event and we are following FIFA procedures, we don’t discuss politics, and if there is any political discussion, it should be directed to FIFA,” Egypt FA spokesman Ossama Ismail said Monday, according to ESPN FC.
Salah was pictured alongside Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechen Republic, at Egypt’s base in Grozny and Kadyrov declared Salah to be an honorary citizen of Chechnya in a ceremony with the player which reportedly angered Salah as he felt he was singled out for special attention and political gain.
“Mohamed Salah is an honorary citizen of the Chechen Republic. Yes, that’s right! Tonight I signed a decree conferring this high award on the great footballer and member of the Egypt and Liverpool teams,” Kadyrov wrote on Telegram.
“We don’t use this kind of thing for politics. Our enemies are paid to write articles like that. I didn’t invite Mohamed Salah or the Egyptian team, they chose us themselves,” Kadyrov said last week in an interview with BBC while also denying human rights abuses.