The Egyptian FA has rejected claims that star striker Mohamed Salah is leaving his team's World Cup camp early to return to club team Liverpool, amid speculation of a rift in the squad.
Reports had suggested that the striker, 26, was set to leave Egypt’s World Cup base with one group game to go after their exit was confirmed by Uruguay's win over Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, which followed the Pharaohs' 3-1 defeat to Russia in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
Salah is still nursing the effects of a shoulder injury suffered in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid in May, and it was suggested he would leave Russia early to give him more recovery time before the Premier League club start their pre-season training.
The player had rejected those claims - and reports of a rift in the Egypt camp - posting a tweet in Arabic earlier this which read: "Everyone in Egypt is together and there is absolutely no disagreement between us. We respect each other and the relationship is great."
الجميع في منتخب مصر متكاتف ولا يوجد أي خلاف على الإطلاق بيننا.. نحترم بعضنا البعض والعلاقة على أفضل وجه.— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) June 20, 2018
The Egyptian FA also mow rejected the claims the striker would quit the tournament before the final group stage game against Saudi Arabia in Volgograd on Monday.
"I have no idea about Liverpool," said Egyptian FA president Hany Abo Rida, according to Sky Sports. "But we have our captain Mohamed Salah and under the rules FIFA requires him to be inside his camp and requires him to stay with his team.
"I do not know what Liverpool meant, but he did not ask his club any questions. He is happy to mingle with his teammates and he was shocked by what the press has written about him and denied it all on social media.
"We're all perplexed by what has been published and have no idea where it came from," he added.
Salah was on the substitutes’ bench for the entirety of Egypt’s 1-0 opening game defeat against Uruguay, although he played the full 90 minutes in the 3-1 second game loss to Russia, scoring from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute.
He has been the subject of avid attention in Russia, particularly at Egypt’s World Cup base in Grozny, Chechnya, where he received a visit from local leader Ramzan Kadyrov and was presented with a giant cake on the occasion of his 26th birthday on June 15.