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MO SHOCK Mohamed Salah has big questions to answer after positive Covid-19 test comes after a hectic week in Egypt

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Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has tested positive for coronavirus while on international duty with Egypt (Martin Rickett/PA)

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has tested positive for coronavirus while on international duty with Egypt (Martin Rickett/PA)

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has tested positive for coronavirus while on international duty with Egypt (Martin Rickett/PA)

The sight of an unmasked Mohamed Salah dancing at his brother's wedding earlier this week must have been of concern Liverpool officials and now their worst nightmare has been confirmed.

As the Egyptian FA confirmed their star man had tested positive for Covid-19, the wishes of a nation went out to a hero who has become the latest high profile sportsman to be infected by the virus.

While it has yet to be confirmed he contracted the virus at the wedding or even an awards ceremony he attended in Egypt, the images that have been quickly followed by a positive test leave huge questions that need to be answered, with Salah finding himself caught up in a storm.

A statement on the Egyptian FA website read: “A second swab was conducted for Mohamed Salah and the result showed a positive case for the infection of coronavirus.

“All measures are being taken for this and the necessary international medical protocol for the case is being followed.

“The Egyptian star is in high spirits and none of the usual symptoms appear on him.

“A special room has been prepared for isolation and another room for medical follow-up, while the team doctor, Dr Muhammad Abu Al-Ela, communicates with Liverpool club doctor Jim Moxon.”

Once again, the merits of staging international football amid a pandemic now need to be considered as for a second month running, a succession of players who have left their club bubbles have contracted Covid on their travels.

Cristiano Ronaldo was among those who tested positive for Covid-19 during the last international break, while the plans of Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny have been constantly tripped by as players have dropped out of his plans due to Covid-related issues.

Yet this time, the player has questions to answer, with Salah's actions after he flew to Egypt now certain to come under the spotlight.

The video of Salah at a crowded wedding reception without a mask was already a topic of discussion for concerned Liverpool fans, with Anfield officials certain to demand answers from their superstar performer when he returned to the UK.

Those discussions will now be put on hold, with Salah set to spend the next few days isolating as he is forced to remain in Egypt before he gets a negative Covid test that will allow him to return to England.

Amr El Ganainy, head of the normalisation committee that runs the Egyptian FA, insisted his organisation had done nothing wrong in their dealings with Salah.

"He got Covid because of our ceremony and honour? We don't know," stated El Ganainy.

"Everything has been done with co-ordinating with his agent and Liverpool. We did everything that Liverpool asked."

It can only be hoped that Salah is fit and healthy enough to fight off the virus and return to action swiftly, as his fellow Liverpool team-mates Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara have done in recent weeks.

Yet that video of him danging at a Salah means he will need to shoulder a large portion of the blame for the criticism that may now be come his way.

Of course, we all wish the 28-year-old well and the conformation that he is displaying no symptoms of the virus bodes well for his swift recovery.

Yet Klopp and Liverpool have every right to punish Salah when he returns to the UK, with his absence from their upcoming Premier League matches a big blow to their already injury-hit squad.

"I don't want to sound disrespectful about how other countries are doing it but this is the place that we know and we know how we are dealing with it," said Klopp, as he discussed international breaks earlier this month.

"I am slightly concerned because it is difficult to be in contact with all FAs (football associations) all over the world.

"As a football club you are pretty alone in these moments, we send the players away and then we have another challenge because we have to play a Premier League game on a Saturday after they have travelled from, maybe Peru, on the Thursday or Friday."

Klopp's concerns over international breaks have been highlighted by a week that has seen his defender Joe Gomez ruled out for the season with a knee injury picked up playing for England and now Salah faces an uncertain few weeks as he awaits to see how Covid will affect him.

On so many levels, international breaks during a pandemic are not working, with Salah the latest cast member of a dangerous and chaotic show that no-one needs to see.

Online Editors


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