Egypt FA’s threat of legal action against Mohamed Sallah has not gone down well with the player’s agent who has hit back at the North African country’s football body.
Salah’s relationship with the EFA has long been strained and things appeared to reach boiling point earlier this year, when the winger’s photograph was featured on a team plane funded by telecoms company WE, a situation which infringed on another commercial deal held personally by Salah.
He was then said to be unhappy about being given honorary Chechen citizenship during the World Cup at a dinner hosted by Ramzan Kadyrov, the controversial head of state of the Chechen Republic, where Egypt were based.
The 26-year-old laid out some general requests and grievances about the EFA’s treatment of him in a letter sent by Salah’s agent, Ramy Abbas Issa, but the lawyer was accused of being “irrational” and trying to demand Egypt’s governing body have “double standards” when dealing with certain players in a statement released on Monday.
They also threatened legal action “if the third party persists” with “entering into conflicts that harm the interests of one of the best and most valuable Egyptian football players”.
But Abbas Issa has hit back, adamant the requests he and Salah have put forward since the image rights problem have not been anything out of the ordinary.
Taking to Twitter, Abbas Issa wrote: “The only way to make our requests seem unreasonable is by distorting them. We never asked for Mohamed to be transported separately from the rest of the team.
“When we discussed discretion at the airport it was only related to his arrival to the camp in Egypt.
“They need to focus less on me having hurt their feelings, and more on resolving the issues that we have been fighting for since November 2016, without response from their side.
“We suspected that the issue in relation to the image rights was going to explode right before the World Cup, and we wrote in November 2017 to address this issue early. There was no response. The only ‘response’ was the aeroplane and everything else.
“We even found out about the aeroplane long before it was unveiled and we wrote to them, again, no response.
“Even the rights to display a logo on the players’ suits was sold! I had never before seen a suit with its brand on display!!
“We are not asking for special treatment. I would be very glad if the requests we made for Mohamed are granted to every single player of the national team that needs them.
“As for the hotel security, I think it would be the only way we can ensure that Mohamed’s bedroom door isn’t knocked on at 2am, and again at 4am, for autographs and pictures.”