Mo Salah has become involved in a storm involving one of his Egyptian teammates while competing in the African Cup of Nations.
British-Egyptian model Merhan Keller claims she has received ‘thousands’ of abusive messages since Salah tweeted about his international teammate Amr Warda.
Warda was initially sent home from the African Cup of Nations for sending vile messages of a sexual nature to the model using social media, but has since been reinstated to the Egypt squad according to The Guardian.
Keller says she has been sent abuse online following the comments from Salah and is fearful that she could be attacked if she returns to Egypt.
Salah tweeted about the incident, writing: “Women must be treated with the utmost respect. ‘No’ means ‘no’. Those things are and must remain sacred.
“I also believe that many who make mistakes can change for the better and shouldn’t be sent straight to the guillotine, which is the easiest way out.
“We need to believe in second chances… we need to guide and educate. Shunning is not the answer.”
Salah has been criticised for his role in bringing Warda back to the tournament, with many people believing it was the wrong call. Keller herself has also claimed Salah has made the situation worse.
Keller said of Salah, via The Mirror: “[Egyptians] don’t deal with [Salah] like a football player. He is God and he can do no wrong. People will attack me in the streets [if I go there]. You know how football fans are – ours are 100 times worse.
“He is one of the most recognised figures in the world right now. This has pushed people to harass me even more. You have no idea the amount of hate messages, threats and stuff that I am getting.”
Egypt are the African Cup of Nations favourites as hosts and will face Uganda in their final group game later tonight. This controversial and divisive situation is certainly one that they and Salah would have wanted to avoid.