Egypt boss Hossam El Badry has challenged the UK government to try and find a solution to the issue of red-list nations, which is currently halting Mo Salah from linking up with the national side.
The Liverpool winger has been granted permission to play in the nation’s upcoming clash with Gabon, though the Reds are unwilling to allow the 29-year-old to compete in the Egypt-based tie with Angola given that the former is currently a red-list nation.
“There is a chance that if they can’t come to Egypt then they can come to Gabon to participate with us,” the 61-year-old was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“Of course it’s unfair, it’s an unfair position because this is qualification for the World Cup and it would be unfair for some teams who can’t have all their players, like Egypt or other teams.
“That is what we have said to FIFA to try and get the British authorisation to try and convince them.
“My message to them [the British Government] is that football is very important, and especially in England, they know this.
“This qualification is very important so they can solve this and they can be sure that after participating with us they don’t have to quarantine and can go back to their clubs.
“I’m sure we can find a solution and make it a win-win.”
The Government has held true to its restrictions thus far, though has been since directly contacted by FIFA president Gianni Infantino regarding a potential exemption.
We can sympathise with the national side, particularly when it comes to the prospect of losing an unquestionably world-class option in Salah.
However, as Klopp rightly pointed out in his pre-match presser yesterday, player safety has to be the absolute priority in this situation, as does club interests when sides are faced with losing players for ten days in quarantine.
If the UK Government remains serious about such safety, they won’t grant an exemption to the red-list rules where player health would be genuinely under threat.