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The New Arab

Mo Salah's mother threatened by Egyptian FA official in Twitter row

The international superstar lodged a complaint over image rights [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 August, 2018

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A senior Egypt FA official 'reminded' Salah that his mother still lives in the country, in the latest escalation of anger following a disastrous World Cup campaign.

A leading Egyptian football official has threatened Mo Salah after the superstar striker criticised the organisation behind Egypt's World Cup campaign.

Khaled Lateif warned the Liverpool forward that while he may not live in the country any more, his mother still resides in Egypt - seemingly an unsubtle threat against the player after he posted an online video criticising the Egyptian FA.

"I'd like to remind @MoSalah that your mother is still in Egypt. You are abroad and can do as you wish. Those who understand, understand," Lateif tweeted in Arabic on Tuesday.

The remark followed the footballer accusing the FA of not responding to official complaints regarding an alleged violation of image rights in the run up to the World Cup.

Salah, who has an individual multi-million dollar sponsorship deal with Vodafone, was left frustrated and at risk of legal action after his image was featured prominently on the national team's official plane - sponsored by rival telecommunications firm 'WE'.

The footballer lodged a complaint but said he was ignored, prompting him to issue public statements online requesting improvements to the national team's conditions, including better security for the squad.

The football federation insisted it would not meet the "illogical" requests, maintaining it would "not favour one player over another".

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It went on to claim he demanded special treatment due to his rising fame and branded him unpatriotic.

But the foul-play continued by other members of Egypt's football federation. 

From a Twitter account allegedly belonging to Magdy Abdulghani, another senior member of EFA and former footballer, a tweet was posted calling Mo Salah a pig.

"Here is a picture of me with four players and a pig in white," Abdulghani said in a caption accompanying an image of himself, Mo Salah and four other footballers. 


Egypt's World Cup campaign ended in disappointment after the Egyptian FA organised its training base in Chechnya, hundreds of miles from the squad's games. The camp was widely criticised as disorganised, open to Egyptian celebrities and media - and not focused on essential training. Salah was even paraded around Grozny stadium by Ramzan Kadyrov, the ex-warlord leader of the Chechen region.

"It's normal that a football federation seeks to solve the problems of its players so they can feel comfortable," Salah said in a tweet on Tuesday. "But really, what I see is exactly the opposite. It's not normal that my messages and my lawyer's letters are ignored. I do not know why this is all (happening)? Don't you have enough time to answer us?!"

Salah had also recorded a series of Facebook Live videos in which he attempted to defend himself. His lawyer and agent also weighed in on the dispute, saying Salah's requests were reasonable and basic.

"Enough is enough," his agent wrote on Twitter. "We asked for guarantees regarding Mohamed's wellbeing whilst with the national team, and assurances that the image rights violations wouldn't happen again. That's all."


Update 1200GMT Weds 29 August: Khaled Lateif has denied making threats against Mo Salah, saying the Twitter account from which the threats were sent - an account in operation seemingly legitmately for nearly two years - did not belong to him. Read more here: "It wasn't me: Egypt football official denies threatening Mo Salah's mother on Twitter".

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