Outspoken Turki Al-Sheikh claims that a shoulder
problem picked up in the Champions League final
will dash the international dreams of the Egypt
Mohamed Salah will be sidelined for two months by the shoulder
injury he sustained during Liverpool’s Champions League final
defeat to Real Madrid and miss Egypt’s World Cup campaign,
according to Saudi Arabian sports administrator Turki Al-Sheikh.
Salah was substituted after 30 minutes of Saturday’s showpiece
encounter in Kiev, having grappled with Madrid captain Sergio
Ramos and landed heavily on the turf.
Gareth Bale came off the bench to steal the headlines with a
game-changing overhead kick after Sadio Mane cancelled out
Karim Benzema’s opener – Reds goalkeeper Loris Karius culpable
for the latter as he was Bale’s second seven minutes from time in
a 3-1 Madrid victory.
In his post-match interviews, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp expressed
fears Salah would miss Russia 2018, but the Egyptian Football
Association (EFA) tweeted a statement claiming there was
“optimism” the Premier League Golden Boot winner would be fit for
their Group A opener against Uruguay on June 15 after speaking
to Liverpool officials.
Al-Sheikh holds a number of administrative roles, including
chairman of the Saudi Arabia Sport Authority and president of the
Sports Federation of Islamic Solidarity.
Until the end of last week he was an honorary president of
Egyptian club Al-Ahly and is understood to have close links to the
federation in the North African country.
Al-Sheikh used social media to give a message of support to
Salah before the final but, in a Facebook post on Sunday, he
claimed the 25-year-old’s World Cup dream was over – at odds
with the EFA’s official line.
“With great sadness, sadly our great Arab star Mohamed Salah
was confirmed in his absence [of] two months to injury, which
means that he will miss the World Cup,” he said. “We wish him a
“I think that Liverpool will not allow Salah to take the cortisone
because it is dangerous for the player in the long term and will
press hard to complete the treatment for two months, which
unfortunately means that we will not see the star Mohamed Salah
in the World Cup.”
Saudi Arabia have also been drawn in Egypt’s World Cup group
alongside hosts Russia and Al-Sheikh caused controversy in
March when, after Salah scored in a friendly versus Portugal, he
tweeted to suggest it would be beneficial for the Liverpool
favourite to miss the round-robin match against the Gulf state.
“When it comes to Twitter, I speak as fan and not as a minister,”
he told Four Four Two Arabia when discussing the incident this
“When I commented on the Saudi team, it was because of
excitement. I may make mistakes and I might be right and I might
be harsh in some of the terms I use.
“But when it comes to Mohamed Salah, he’s a great Arab player
and has allowed us to lift our heads high as Arabs. I am a fan.
“But what I wish is he wouldn’t play against our team during that
match [at the World Cup]. I want to miss him during this match,
just this match.”
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