Mohamed Salah was prevented by Liverpool from attending the Olympics, according to the Egyptian federation.
The Games are due to take place this month in Tokyo, a year after the initial date, and the Reds star has reportedly hoped to play for his international team in the Japanese capital.
However, the clubs are under no obligation to release the players as Olympic games are not on the official FIFA calendar, meaning Liverpool could reject Salah and Egypt’s request.
Liverpool have refused to allow Mo Salah (right) to play in the Olympics, according to Egypt FA
Egyptian FA said Salah wanted to go, but Liverpool have the right to refuse to release him
Egypt coach Shawky Gharib has claimed he has repeatedly asked the Premier League club to let the talismanic striker and star player Salah leave.
“I tried many times with Liverpool, as the Egyptian federation did, to persuade them to let Salah be part of the Olympic team, but they completely refused,” he said, as the report it BBC.
‘Mohamed wanted to play in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. He spoke to me, I did my best to bring him. Salah has been a key player in my Olympic projects. But the club refused – we have to move on.
The competition is set to end on August 7, exactly one week before the Premier League starts, with Jurgen Klopp’s side keen to give Salah a full preseason.
Galatasaray, likewise, refused to let striker Mostafa Mohamed leave, dealing another blow to Gharib’s plans ahead of the Olympic group matches against Argentina, Spain and Australia.
New Premier League campaign begins just seven days after competition ends
Gharib added: “Mostafa Mohamed was going to be the main striker for my team, but the same thing happened with his club. They refused to let him go because they will play important games – there is nothing I can do.
“I even wanted to bring Trezeguet but he got injured with Villa. Now we need to stop thinking about something that will not happen and focus on our campaign.
Salah, whose goals helped the country win their first World Cup in 28 years at Russia 2018, has yet to comment publicly on the move after Egypt released their squad list on Friday.
Egyptian FA President Ahmed Megahed told BBC Sport Africa: “We started talking with them a long time ago because Salah wanted to play the Olympics but Liverpool was not clear. I knew that in June they wouldn’t let him go. Either way, we respect their decision.
Liverpool’s historic rivals Manchester United, however, allowed Ivorian duo Eric Bailly and Amad Diallo to leave – although unlike Salah, neither are fundamental first-team regulars at Old Trafford.