Liverpool's Mohamed Salah revives dispute with Egyptian FA over image rights
7:03 AM ET
- Associated Press
Mohamed Salah rekindled a months-long dispute with the Egyptian football association, accusing them of ignoring his complaints about their unauthorised use of his image.
The dispute over image rights, which dates to the spring, and lingering tensions over his treatment during the World Cup have cast doubt on whether Salah, the top scorer in the Premier League last season with Liverpool, will continue to play for Egypt.
"It's normal that a football federation seeks to solve the problems of its players so they can feel comfortable, but in fact, what I see is exactly the opposite," Salah wrote on Twitter.
"It is not normal that my messages and my lawyer's messages are ignored. I do not know why all this [is happening]? Do you not have time to respond to us?!"
In a statement, Egypt' s football association said it would discuss Salah's demands on Monday.
Ramy Abbas, Salah's agent, wrote on Twitter that he and his client have asked for guarantees regarding the 26-year-old's well-being while with Egypt and assurances that his image rights will not be violated again.
Salah's tweet was widely shared in Egypt, where he is seen as a national hero. Business tycoon Naguib Sawiris, who is among the people who have shared it, called for the resignation of the football association's board members.
"Treating an Egyptian figure like Mohamed Salah who raised his country's name in an unprecedented way should not have been like that. ... Resign and relieve us after the abject failure," Sawiris wrote on Twitter in response.
The dispute first surfaced in April, when the Egyptian national team prominently featured an image of Salah on a plane provided by team sponsor WE. Salah has a sponsorship deal with Vodafone, a r ival telecommunications firm.
At the time, Khaled Abdel-Aziz, Egypt's Youth and Sports Minister, said that all of Salah's demands would be met following an emergency meeting of the football association's board. Farag Amer, head of parliament's Youth and Sports committee, said Egypt President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi ordered that the dispute be quickly resolved.
Salah's relationship with the association has also been strained since he was apparently used as a political symbol during the World Cup, when Egypt was based in Chechnya.
He was said to have been particularly annoyed by a dinner banquet hosted by Ramzan Kadyrov, the ruler of the Russian region, in which he granted Salah "honorary citizenship." Kadyrov has repeatedly been accused of human rights abuses, including torture and the killing of political opponents, but denies the allegations.
In June, a source told ESPN FC that Salah has been considering retiring from interna tional play, but he seemed to suggest in July that he would continue to represent his country.
Egypt, under new coach Javier Aguirre, will host Niger in their next game, a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in September.Source: Google News Egypt | Netizen 24 Egypt