Mohamed Salah is the latest Liverpool absentee after testing positive for COVID-19 on Egypt duties.
The Reds are entering the Premier League clash against Leicester City with swathes of absentees, largely due to injuries, but also another wave of the deadly pandemic sweeping the planet.
Salah needing to self-isolate until he turns in a negative test sees him join the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who have all picked up knocks, on the sidelines.
Salah tests positive
The two-time Golden Boot winner isn’t alone in having tested positive for the disease since the 2020/21 season kicked into gear with Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara amongst those affected.
According to Goal, the EFA had initially confirmed that Salah was well and not showing any symptoms, so I’m sure you’ll all join us in wishing that remains the case for the Liverpool star.
It’s yet to be confirmed that Salah will indeed miss the Leicester game, but he has not been involved in either of Egypt’s clashes with Togo in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Salah attends brother’s wedding
However, Salah has come in for criticism from certain members of the football community for the circumstances of his positive test, having attended his brother’s wedding in the build-up to the news.
Footage appeared to show Salah participating in the celebrations with hundreds of people, who were not adhering to social-distancing advice nor was protection widely used correctly.
Like many countries, Egypt has implemented distancing guidelines and the mandatory use of facemasks in enclosed public spaces in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Mido slams Salah’s behavior
Nevertheless, Aston Villa’s Trezeguet said that Salah was extremely cautious during the one-hour ceremony and the mayor of his hometown, Maher Shtayyeh, has also come out in his defence.
The same can’t be said, however, of former Premier League forward Mido, who, per Goal, gave a damning view of the Salah situation during an appearance on Al-Nahar TV.
Mido said: “I know I may be under attack after my next comments, but it has to be that way.
‘Great negligence from Salah’
“Mohamed Salah made a big mistake by attending his brother’s wedding a few days before the Egyptian national team match, he showed great negligence with the steps taken to prevent the coronavirus and the result was that he was infected.
“The neglect of Mohamed Salah caused the Egyptian team to lose an important player in a very important match and time, and he also risked the health of his team-mates.
“He should not have been present at his brother’s wedding, especially at that time. The wedding included more than 800 people, and half of them accepted to embrace and kiss Salah.
“The other point here is the silence of all those responsible for the player’s negligence, which confirms the fact that the player is still bigger than the national team and this will lead to a great failure.
Mido calls out Egyptian chiefs
“When I missed the 2006 African Nations Cup, I was punished by missing the final and being excluded from the national team for six months.
“The final we lost, I was young and I think I am older than the team, but I confirm now that no one is bigger than the team, and if someone thinks this, this will be a great failure.
“Officials in Egypt did not direct any word of blame or reproach to Mohamed Salah and the harm caused by his negligence to the Egyptian team, and I name each of the Minister of Sports Ashraf Sobhi, Chairman of the EFA Amr Al-Ganayni, the coach of the national team Hossam Al-Badri, and the national team director Mohamed Barakat, all are cowards and fear Mohamed Salah fans who love the Liverpool star, but here I am speaking without calculations or fear of anyone, and what is being said should be said to me.
“No one can say that Salah did not make a mistake by going to his brother’s wedding at that difficult time and in light of the corona crisis, all the English newspapers speak against us negatively.
“Salah should have been blamed for what he did, but everyone feels fear.”