Mohamed Salah Set to Play for Egypt at 2020 Olympics, Per Shawky Gharib

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2020

CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 06: Mohamed Salah of Egypt  jumps a tackle from Dean Furman of South Africa  during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 match between Egypt and South Africa at Cairo International Stadium on July 6, 2019 in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo by Visionhaus)
Visionhaus/Getty Images

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah will be called up to play for Egypt at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, under-23 head coach Shawky Gharib has confirmed. 

Although the Olympic tournament is mainly for players under 23, each national team can have three older players in their squad, and Gharib has said Salah, 27, will be one of those chosen for Egypt's squad, per ON Sport (h/t Ahmed El Ramady of KingFut.com):

"Out of the three senior players we'll call-up, Salah is the only one we're settled on so far because he's simply one of the top three players in the world. I haven't talked to Salah at all about him joining the U23 squad for the Olympics, but in all honesty, his participation in the Olympics will need a little effort from him as well."

The men's football tournament in Tokyo is scheduled to kick off on July 23 and will finish with the final on August 8, the same day the 2020-21 Premier League season starts.

As a result, Salah will miss Liverpool's pre-season for the third summer running after being involved in both the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

He will also likely miss Liverpool's opening matches of next season.

Salah appeared previously in the Olympics at London 2012, and he scored three goals as Egypt reached the quarter-finals:

FIFA.com @FIFAcom

Egypt's @Olympics coach Shawky Gharib has revealed he is planning on calling @MoSalah into his #Tokyo2020 squad 🇪🇬👑 🔴@LFC's world-class winger was part of their last visit at London 2012. Will we see him going for gold and flying the @Pharaohs flag again in Japan?🥇🇯🇵 https://t.co/gaXRfhoQlq

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp recently said that, while the Olympics "is a wonderful thing," it would not be "too cool" if Salah was to play for Egypt in Tokyo.

There is little the German manager will be able to do about losing one of his star players in July and August, though.

Salah is a key cog in Liverpool's attack. His record of 68 goals scored in 96 league games since joining the club in 2017 is truly remarkable, especially when the 24 assists he has provided are added.

The former Roma and Chelsea winger has contributed 14 of those goals in 2019-20, when Liverpool finally look set to break their 30-year league title drought in spectacular fashion.