Mohamed Salah and Liverpool will decide the chances of his involvement at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year, says Egypt coach Shawky Gharib.
The 27-year old forward has been included in Egypt's provisional 50-man list for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The tournament is scheduled to start on July 24. This means Liverpool's current leading goalscorer might miss the Reds' pre-season. The final will be played on August 8, which also happens to be the first day of the 2020-21 football season in England.
Gharib said in an interview, "We cannot force Salah to participate with us. Salah's participation with the Pharaohs team is a decision to be taken only by Salah, his club Liverpool and his coach Jurgen Klopp. I have chosen him in an expanded list of 50 players. The final list of 18 players will be submitted next June."
The tournament features under-23 teams. However, up to three over-age players are allowed on each side. Previously, FIFA had acknowledged that clubs aren't obliged to release over-age players for the Tokyo Olympics.
Given that the Reds are favourites to win the Premier League title this season, their team management might not mind releasing the Egyptian icon at the start of the upcoming season.
However, if Liverpool decides to release Salah for the event and if he agrees to fly to Tokyo, he won't get too much rest between the seasons. The Reds might be concerned about the health of their top footballer.
Egypt qualified for the tournament as they reached the final of the U23 Africa Cup of Nations in 2019. Gharib hasn't yet decided on the other two over-age players but it seems that Salah is already one whom Egypt is settled on. He is currently one of the top consistent players in the world. Egypt would want to capitalise on their opportunity to have him in the team.