Egypt appears set to make the very same mistake with Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah that England previously made with injured players in big international tournaments.
The Egyptian team doctor, who has met with Salah, has declared that the 25-year-old national hero’s absence “will not exceed” three weeks.
The Egyptian FA has gone to Twitter to issue an update on Salah, tweeting:
“After the meeting of Abu Rida and the doctor of the national team in Spain today, the Football Association reaffirms Salah in the World Cup, God willing, will not exceed the absence of three weeks.”
That is, of course, good news. However, their first game is on June 15th against Uruguay, a game that Salah is very likely to miss, and it must be questionable whether he will be fit enough to be anywhere near his best after that.
Egypt’s second game is on June 19th against Russia and their final group game is on June 25th against Saudi Arabia. Even using the three weeks time frame, which seems a little optimistic, it is hard to imagine Salah making even the second game.
England have repeatedly taken their best players to tournaments while blatantly unfit or not fully recovered from injury and it has never worked out. It never does.
It is understandable that Egypt would want to risk Salah. He is by far their best player, their talisman, their hero. He is the man on whom all their hopes are pinned and they simply cannot imagine being without him. But it is the wrong decision for the team, the player and the fans.
It is very sad that this situation has come to pass, and it is hoped that Salah does recover and play some part. The World Cup needs the best players to play, but the reality is that this is not the right thing to do.