Liverpool do not expect any of their players, including Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, to play in the Tokyo Olympics.
They have told the relevant federations they do not want their players to take part in the competition, which runs from 22 July to 7 August. That means Salah, 29, looks set to miss the Games – but Egyptian FA president Ahmed Megahed still hopes he will play.
“I don’t want to say it’s impossible for Salah to participate, but it is difficult,” admitted Megahed. The Olympic football tournament is for under-23 teams – but three over-age players are allowed.
Fifa has previously acknowledged that clubs are not obliged to release over-age players for the Tokyo Olympics. Liverpool start their Premier League campaign on 14 August away at newly promoted Norwich City.
Megahed told Egyptian broadcaster ONTimeSport: “Salah agreed to lead the Olympic team during the last camp of the Egyptian team.
“We contacted Liverpool to allow Salah to join the Olympic team, and they said they were waiting for the approval of the technical staff.
“In the end, Liverpool refused the request because they do not want to lose the player at the beginning of the season, as well as next January with the Africa Cup of Nations, which will keep him from participating in the English Premier League matches.
“We spoke with Salah again, and he told us that he will make a new attempt with the technical staff of his team to resolve the matter, and within the next two days he will find a way.”