CAIRO – Egypt and Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah has lashed out at the country’s football association for its weak leadership during the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
The Pharaohs hosted the biennial showpiece where the North Africans failed to reach the quarter-finals, losing 2-1 to South Africa in the Last 16.
After Egyptian Football Association’s (EFA) boss Hani Abou Rida resigned in June, the Reds hitman has stated that the new president must ensure the players are happy.
“I’m happy at Liverpool. I’m happy in the city, I love the fans and they love me. I’m happy at the club,” Salah told CNN.
“I love this country (Egypt) from my heart. It’s always in my mind. Something pushed me forward to perform, to be iconic for the kids, to be like a dream for the kids to one day be like me.
“I want to be that person, so to just retire from the national team is huge for me,” he added.
In addition, Egypt’s appearance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup was disappointing and Salah has attacked Egypt’s footballing governing body for their unprofessionalism.
“I think with the federation, it was a bit like a competition. Who’s the winner? And for me, I will never be a winner because I’m a player,” he continued.
“So, when I come to tell you something, you have to know that I’m telling you just because I want to be happy … to get something for the national team, to do something more for the national team.
“It’s not just that I’m telling you because I’m showing you that I’m powerful, I’m not powerful there. And believe me, if I’m powerful there, I could have changed a lot of things,” he explained
The former AS Roma man continued his outburst by unveiling what occurred behind the scenes during the 2019 AFCON, saying that the players couldn’t roam freely in the hotel due to the number of people constantly surrounding them.
“When we had one day off, I couldn’t go down from the room until 9:30 pm. When I tried to go down it was like 200 people with me. And they (EFA) say, ‘Why are you complaining?’,” Salah revealed.
“I complain because I’m a human being. I want to be with the players. I want to sit down and enjoy my life. We are a team, we love each other, as players we want to play something.
“The players feel the pressure and we didn’t perform at the top level, honestly. So I’m not talking about the player and hiding, but as a team, we didn’t perform well.
“The one who is coming (the next EFA president) now needs to be honest with himself and try to fix the thing because as a player in the national team, they’re not happy about a lot of things,” he concluded.