'Salah injury was God’s punishment for breaking Ramadan fast' - Islamic preacher
The preacher said Liverpool's Champions League final versus Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday was "not a legitimate excuse for breakfast", and that Salah's shoulder injury suffered in the first half after tangling with Madrid defender Sergio Ramos was God's punishment.
Salah left the pitch in tears with what was later revealed as shoulder ligament damage and Liverpool went on to lose the match 3-1, with the striker now facing a race against time to be fit for the World Cup this summer.
Salah, a devout Muslim, had reportedly broken his Ramadan fast before the game in Kiev as he would be traveling in the days leading up to the match. Muslims are generally allowed to stopping fasting if they are on long journeys.
However, Kuwaiti preacher Mubarak al-Bathali said that Salah’s travel arrangements were “not a legitimate excuse” to cease fasting, and said God had punished him as a result.
Tweeting in Arabic, al-Bathali wrote:"God punished him," adding: "Unfortunately, [he will] bear the burden."
"Do not think the Muslim believes that life is managed by reason and effort, but life is the hand of God comes to whom he will, whether hard or not diligent,” the preacher said.
The cleric then wrote: "Perhaps [the injury] is good for you."
Salah is expected to be out of action for around three weeks. Yesterday it was reported that Salah would be fit to face Russia at the World Cup on June 19, although he could miss Egypt's opener against Uruguay four days earlier.
The Liverpool star has struck 44 goals in a record-breaking season last term, and is seen as his nation’s talisman heading into Russia 2018.
The tussle with Ramos sparked a huge backlash against the Spaniard, with one Egyptian lawyer even filing a $1 billion lawsuit against the Real Madrid defender for inflicting “physical and psychological harm” on the nation’s biggest sporting star.
Preacher Al-Bathali had some words of solace for Salah, saying that he was a "virtuous, good and respected man," as well as an important ambassador for Muslims. "Do not grieve, the door of repentance is open," he said.
The day after the final, Salah said he was confident he would recover in time for Russia, tweeting: "It was a very tough night, but I'm a fighter. Despite the odds, I'm confident that I'll be in Russia to make you all proud. Your love and support will give me the strength I need."