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Mo Salah Reportedly Contemplating Leaving International Football

Given his stellar club season and central role in Egypt’s qualification campaign, Mohamed Salah deserved the World Cup stage more than most.

His World Cup experience has been traumatic on two fronts, though.

Salah missed the opener against Uruguay, a 1-0 defeat, while he and his Egypt side were overrun by hosts Russia 3-1 to exit the tournament at the group stage with one game remaining.

Off the pitch matters have dogged Salah also. Prior to the tournament, a row over sponsorship and image rights involving the national team’s plane threatened to cause turmoil between the Egyptian FA and their on-field talisman.

Now, in the wake of the Russia defeat, the Liverpool star has come in for fierce criticism for his association with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov has been accused of a litany of human rights abuses, particularly against gay citizens. His presence in the mixed martial arts world has seen numerous UFC fighters similarly criticised for dealings with the warlord.

As for Salah, he was photographed walking alongside Kadyrov during his return to match fitness, and was made an honorary citizen of the Chechen Republic in a high profile event.

CNN in the U.S. reports that the 25-year-old is considering quitting the Egyptian national team, due to “unhappiness” with how the FA have used him for political purposes. Given the vocal Tweets from his agent, Ramy Abbas Issa, it’s at the very least clear that all is not well in the Salah camp.

Ramy’s comment on waiting until the final game tomorrow against Saudi Arabia passes is intriguing, given the rumours a week ago after the second game claiming that Salah wanted to immediately depart the international set-up.

It appears that the striker will stay in Russia for tomorrow’s game, but what happens afterwards will tell a lot about how he really feels. Either way, it’s a sad end to a terrific season for the multiple ‘player of the year’ award winner.

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Author: Chris Kelleher

Student whose interests lie in sports ranging from Darts to MMA, with the likes of Golf, Boxing and Soccer in between. Closet wrestling fan and a lover of sports psychology and stiff jabs.