The Reds endured a frustrating international break highlighted by their key forward testing positive for coronavirus which has ruled him out of their key clash with Premier League leaders Leicester City on Sunday.
Following the ordeal Egypt’s Under 23 manager Shawky Gharib, who will take charge of the Olympic team in Tokyo, admitted that the timing of the Olympics just days before the start of the 2021-22 Premier League season and a few months before the Africa Cup of Nations in January meant the issue over his participation was in Liverpool’s hands.
Egypt won’t call up Mo Salah for the Olympics next summer if Liverpool do not let them
‘We will speak with Liverpool in March,’ he told MBC Maser. ‘We haven’t discussed the issue (a potential call up for the Olympic Games) with the player yet.
‘The problem is that the AFCON will be played a few months after the Olympics, but the latter will end and the Premier League will start three days after. But we can’t call up Salah unless Liverpool approve.’
Although the football competition is an Under 23 tournament, Egypt are hoping to include Salah as one of their designated over-age players where he could feature in at least three group stage games.
Egypt’s Under 23 manager Shawky Gharib will take charge of the Olympic team in Tokyo
Jurgen Klopp has previously admitted he didn’t want to lose Salah during what would be a key time for the Reds in pre-season but conceded that the allure of playing in the Olympics would have to be considered.
He said back in February: ‘Do I want to lose a player in the pre-season? No. Of course not. But we have to consider different things. I will speak with Mo and all that stuff.
‘We are completely clear about what we want, but we need more information – how will it look, when will the preparation start, all that stuff, and nobody has really contacted us so far, it’s just in the media.’
Klopp will now be without his star man as Liverpool contend with a mounting injury crisis
‘But come on, it’s the Olympic Games, I’m still a sports person, the Olympics is the Olympics, but we have to see.’
Salah had travelled to play for Egypt in World Cup qualifiers for the international break but attended the wedding of his brother Nasr before meeting up with the squad where he was seen partying with guests.
The ceremony in Cairo came the day after he attended an Egyptian FA awards bash before he tested positive for coronavirus last Friday.
Although he is asymptomatic, he has provided three more positive tests but was still been given permission to fly into London on Friday night. He will go straight into self-isolation before being tested again on Sunday.
The wedding of Salah’s brother, Nasr (right) took place in the Egyptian capital of Cairo
Salah tested positive for coronavirus just days after attending the wedding of his brother