Liverpool and Egypt forward, Mohamed Salah opened up about his issues with the Egyptian FA and talked about Egypt’s disappointing 2019 African Cup of Nations campaign.
Since the 2018 World Cup Salah has had his fair share of issues with Egypt’s FA as they have been in constant dispute due to many disagreements regarding the latter’s lack of organization.
During an interview with CNN Salah spoke about his love for Liverpool and his country. While also revealing the issues he and his teammates endured during the 2019 AFCON due to the EFA’s lack of security and organization.
“I’m happy at Liverpool. I’m happy in the city — I love the fans and they love me. I’m happy at the club,” Salah told CNN.
“I love this country [Egypt] from my heart. It’s always in my mind. Something pushed me forward to perform, to be iconic for the kids, to be like a dream for the kids to one day be like me.
“I want to be that person, so to just retire from the national team is huge for me,” he added.
Following the Pharaoh’s disappointing 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia where Egypt finished bottom of Group A which included hosts Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia. Salah came out and attacked Egypt’s footballing governing body for their unprofessionalism.
“I think with the federation, it was a bit like a competition.
“Who’s the winner? And for me, I will never be a winner because I’m a player. So, when I come to tell you something, you have to know that I’m telling you just because I want to be happy … to get something for the national team, to do something more for the national team.
“It’s not just that I’m telling you because I’m showing you that I’m powerful, I’m not powerful there. And believe me, if I’m powerful there, I could have changed a lot of things,” he explained
The former AS Roma man continued his outburst by unveiling what occurred behind the scenes during the 2019 AFCON saying that the players couldn’t roam freely in the hotel due to the amount of people constantly surrounding them.
“When we had one day off, I couldn’t go down from the room until 9:30 p.m.,” Salah revealed.
“When I tried to go down it was like 200 people with me. And they (EFA) say, ‘Why are you complaining?’
“I complain because I’m a human being. I want to be with the players. I want to sit down and enjoy my life. We are a team, we love each other, as players we want to play something.
“So, when I’m trying to say something, I’m saying for me and behalf of the players, because the players sometime talk to me, ‘Please, if you can do that.’
“But for them it’s a competition,”
However Salah still assumed a large potion of the responsibility for the early elimination, saying that the players couldn’t handle the responsibilities and pressure that came with hosting the tournament.
“It’s too much pressure, 80,000 in the stadium I think or 70,000, for each game,” Salah continued.
Egypt have had a disappointing run during the 2019 AFCON as they were eliminated from the round of 16 against a shaky South Africa side.
“The players feel the pressure and we didn’t perform at the top level, honestly. So I’m not talking about the player and hiding myself, but as a team we didn’t perform good,”
“The one who is coming [the next EFA president] now needs to be honest with himself and try to fix the thing because as a player in the national team, they’re not happy about a lot of things,” he added.
“Hopefully the new one comes and does things differently,” he concluded.