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Liverpool not compelled to release Salah for Olympic Games – Fifa

Egypt plan to take the player to the Games but the Reds hold the keys to his participation and could stand in the way

Fifa says Liverpool are not “under obligation” to release Mohamed Salah for 2020 Olympic Games duty with the Egypt Under-23 side.

Egypt Olympic coach Shawky Gharib included Salah in his 50-man provisional squad with the intention of taking the Reds star to the Games as one of the three permitted over-aged players in their squad.

This led to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp appearing reluctant to let his star go to the Olympics which runs from July 24 to August 9 in Tokyo, Japan.

If the player is allowed to take part, he will miss Liverpool’s pre-season and the start of the 2020/21 Premier League term.

With Egypt keen to take the player to Japan, Fifa said the decision is in Liverpool’s hands.

“The men’s Olympic Football Tournament, as well as all Fifa competitions with age restrictions, are not included in the men’s international match calendar 2018-2024, and thus clubs are not under the obligation to release players for the competition,” said a Fifa spokesperson as per Daily Star.

If Salah is interested to travel to Japan, this leaves him with the task of convincing Klopp to release him for national team duty.

Klopp and Liverpool’s decision could be influenced by potentially playing more games in the FA Cup and Uefa Champions League which could increase Salah’s number of matches this term, thereby creating the need for more rest during off-season.

At the last Olympics in 2016, Nigeria faced a similar situation with Manchester City refusing to let Kelechi Iheanacho go to the Games.

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