Behind Mohamed Salah's row with the Egypt national team

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The Egyptian superstar has been embroiled in numerous disputes with his FA following an image rights feud in April, with events recently escalating

Mohamed Salah has reignited a dispute with Egypt's FA following an image rights feud in April and questions over how he has been treated while on international duty, with the Liverpool star taking to Facebook to explain the recent clashes.

There has been speculation that the striker could quit international duty following various fallouts with his country's football association, sparked by alleged image rights violations as well as accusations of being trapped in a political storm after having his photograph taken with a controversial Chechen figure.

Since the summer, Salah and his agent have been involved in a string of feuds with the Egypt FA – often taking to social media to raise and clarify arguments with the dispute escalating 

Here is everything you need to know about Salah's clash with his national team's FA, as well as the latest updates.


What is behind Salah's dispute with the Egypt FA?


Though Salah is his country's star striker, he has been involved in a few disputes with his country's football association – the first of which dated back to April this year.

It was a few months later during the World Cup, however, when Salah felt he was being used as a political puppet by his FA and made to pose with a controversial political figure without his permission.

The troubles are believed to have stemmed from the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) using his image on the national team's plane without his permission or knowledge, which led to a rights feud.

The 25-year-old has a separate sponsorship deal with Vodafone, while the EFA is sponsored by rival telecommunications company WE. Salah's sponsored company prevents him from public association with competitors.

When the issue first arose, Salah wrote that he was 'extremely' insulted by the move.

"Sorry but this is a major insult ... I was hoping the handling [of the dispute] would be classier than this," he posted on Twitter.

Farag Amer, the head of the Egyptian parliament's youth and sports committee, then stated on television later that week that it was Egypt President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi who was behind the order that the feud be resolved.

Salah's agent Ramy Abbas then stepped in to state that the EFA had no right to use the striker's image without written consent from MS Commercial, Cayman, which is the company that owns his image rights.

Following Salah's tweet, Abbas went on to say that the federation had failed to acknowledge his queries for clarification following the image dispute which triggered waves of social media support for the 25-year-old.

Things moved quickly following Salah's statement on Twitter – Khaled Abdel-Aziz, Egypt's youth and sports minister, convened with the Egypt FA's committee to hold talks and then stated that they agreed to meet Salah's requests.

"I assure everyone that we will stand by him to honour all the contracts he entered in England," Abdel-Aziz wrote on Twitter.

In comments later made to a popular television show, the minister said: "Consider that all the demands made by them [Salah and his agent] are met."

Abdel-Aziz also went on to suggest that it was the EFA who was to blame for the image dispute, admitting it was possible that they did not have the expertise or experience to deal with the commercial aspects of such a global superstar.

Mohamed Salah Egypt

The EFA went on to tweet that chairman Hany Abou Rida spoke to Salah on the phone and said: "Anything that annoyed you will stop. What is more important to me is that you and your teammates are relaxed so that you hold our heads high in the World Cup."

But Salah, despite heading into the Russia World Cup finals as his nation's star player, had an underwhelming tournament as he will still dealing with a shoulder injury that was sustained during the Champions League final in May.

It was a disappointing time for both Egypt and Salah as the Pharaohs crashed out in the group stage, failing to register a single win against the likes of Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.

The Liverpool striker, however, ran into trouble with his EFA once again when he was made to appear alongside controversial Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who is infamous for his reputation for repeated violations of human rights.

Egypt’s decision to base themselves in Chechnya attracted much criticism, and Salah found himself at the centre of a big political storm as a result.

Salah is said to have been angered at being placed next to such a controversial figure – who had even made him an 'honorary citizen' of the Chechen Republic.

Kadyrov, among other abuses, has had his regime linked with accusations of torture from the war-torn republic, which he has dismissed.

Reports surfaced that the striker was on the verge of quitting national team duties following the appearance with Kadyrov shortly after Egypt's exit from the World Cup – upset at having been used as 'political capital' by the Egyptian FA.

He took to Twitter once again to state that there were no issues between the Egyptian team and the FA, though also later stated that he demanded change.

And most recently, the Liverpool star went on Twitter once again to accuse the EFA of ignoring his and his lawyer's messages, saying: "It is not natural that my letters and my lawyer's letters are ignored... I don't know why this is all [happening]. Don't you have enough time to answer us?!"

The EFA said in a statement it would address a letter sent by Salah's agent, Ramy Abbas, on Monday, who also took to the social media platform.

Abbas

We asked for guarantees regarding Mohamed’s wellbeing whilst with the national team, and assurances that the image rights violations wouldn’t happen again. That’s all. They have yet to respond.

— Ramy Abbas Issa (@RamyCol) August 26, 2018 " target="_blank">wrote on Twitter on Sunday: "We asked for guarantees regarding Mohamed's wellbeing whilst with the national team, and assurances that the image rights violations wouldn't happen again. That's all. They have yet to respond."

He took to the social media platform again on Monday when, in a series of nine separate tweets, responded to the Egyptian FA's new requirements for Salah and his agent.

The new guidelines included having no less than two bodyguards stationed outside of Salah's hotel room, one in front of the elevator, no personal meetings without the all-clear from the agent, no photos of Salah being used without his permission and no photo requests from the federation.

Salah himself took to Facebook on Monday to post two videos explaining the escalated situation, stating: 

“I did not ask for a special treatment from the EFA, I cannot see myself above any of my team mates to do so, and when I speak about the problems we had in Russia I’d like to speak for my team mates but I’m not entitled to do so, there are more important and older players than me there.

“Again, I dare for anyone to publish anything that I said about personal privileges, and again I’m sorry to all my teammates. I’m not the captain, but someone had to speak, that’s all, and I’m ready to take responsibly for those words”.

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