Mohamed Salah mulls quitting Egypt after Chechnya controversy


He also had 11 assists, while leading Liverpool to the Champions Final, where he left early with a shoulder injury.

The Egyptian Football Association says there is "no problem" between it and star player Mohamed Salah, amid reports the Liverpool forward could be set to quit the national team.

He handed Salah a decree declaring him a citizen at a dinner in honour of the Egypt team ahead of their departure for Volgograd, where they will play Saudi Arabia in their final group match on Monday. The Egyptian football media team was not immediately available for comment.

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Before the tournament began, Salah received an intense amount of backlash for being pictured smiling alongside Kadyrov, a leader branded by many as a tyrant due to his records of human rights abuses and public stances that are prejudicial and offensive to numerous groups of people. Kadyrov declared Salah to be an honorary citizen of Chechnya in a ceremony with the player.

A supporter of (and supported by) Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin, Kadyrov's global reputation is marred with accusations of human rights violations and reports of extrajudicial killings and torture.

Images also surfaced of a smiling Salah sitting alongside Kadyrov as he made a speech in a ceremony in which the leader, who enjoys Kremlin backing but is now under US sanctions, later pinned a Chechen flag on the player's shirt. After a breakout season with Liverpool in which he shattered the Premier League goal-scoring record for a single season, Salah has arguably become the most high-profile Muslim athlete in the world.

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CNN reported that Salah was uncomfortable with the criticism that followed the photo and is unwilling to being used as a political pawn. So much so, that he now seems to be reassessing his future with the Egyptian national team.

Whether Salah ever plays for Egypt again will now be under consideration as a result of the events in Chechnya during the tournament.

At the 2018 World Cup, we've already seen the likes of Morocco and Saudi Arabia go out with a whimper after losing their opening games without scoring a single goal, and history is filled with examples of low-ranked nations enduring similarly awful World Cup campaigns.

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