Report: Mo Salah Could Quit Egyptian National Team over Chechnya Controversy

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJune 24, 2018

Egypt's Mohamed Salah trains with his team at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd on June 24, 2018, on the eve of their Group A match against Saudi Arabia during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
NICOLAS ASFOURI/Getty Images

Mohamed Salah is reportedly considering quitting the Egypt national team because of his involvement with Chechnya during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The Egypt team have been based in Chechnya, and the Liverpool star was pictured with leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who subsequently made the Egyptian an "honorary citizen" of the Chechen Republic.

CNN's John Sinnott and Alireza Hajihosseini report that Salah "feels exposed" by the events and does not want to be used for political gain.

Salah has emerged as one of the brightest stars in European football after a prolific season for Liverpool. He scored 43 goals in all competitions and helped the team to the final of the UEFA Champions League.

The forward is Egypt's star player although he missed their opening World Cup game against Uruguay due to a shoulder problem picked up against Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

During the competition. Salah met Kadyrov and was made an honorary citizen of Chechnya, as shown by Russia correspondent Alec Luhn:

Sports editor Karim Zidan explained Kadyrov's motives:

Kadyrov has been in charge of Chechnya since 2007 but has been accused of human rights violations, per Sky Sports News.

The Chechen leader denied using Salah for political reasons, per Steve Rosenberg at BBC News:

Luhn felt Salah has been let down by people around him:

Salah played in Egypt's second World Cup game of the tournament, which saw them knocked out after a 3-1 defeat to hosts Russia.

The Liverpool star is also expected to start in their final group game Monday when the Pharaohs face Saudi Arabia.

After the game, Salah will be able to return home and enjoy a break from football before he is due to return to Liverpool for pre-season training.

The forward will have time to seriously consider his international future after the World Cup and decide if he wants to bring it to a premature end.

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