Mohamed Salah’s future with Chelsea has been thrown into jeopardy after reports emerged claiming the winger could be forced to return to Egypt in order to carry out military service for his homeland.
Salah joined Chelsea in January this year after securing a move from Swiss side Basel. Having impressed in the two Champions League encounters against the Blues in the group stages, Jose Mourinho moved to secure Salah for a reported £11m – though that number could rise based on his performances.
However, it is believed that the 22-year-old has had his registration for an education program he was on rescinded by the Minister of Higher Education in Egypt, meaning he could be forced to return to the North African nation.
Salah’s allowance to travel abroad is granted solely on his participation on the education program, and Chelsea could be helpless to prevent the Egypt international being ordered back to his country.
Egyptian football website King Fut has reported that national team director Ahmed Hassan has spoken to the Chelsea midfielder about the situation, and revealed that Salah is “shocked” by the news.
“Salah has expressed his shock about the decision,” said Hassan.
“He told me that he is trying to represent Egypt in the best way possible. Is this the best response from the country?”
Salah’s family remain in Egypt, and the news means that should he return to his home he would not be allowed to leave the country again until the completion of a period of national service for the armed forces, which is reported to be anything from 12 months to three years.
There will be a meeting between the Minister of Higher Education, the Egyptian FA and the national team’s coaching staff to discuss whether a solution can be found that would see Salah remain in England.
Since arriving in London, Salah has made 11 appearances for Chelsea, netting twice in games against Arsenal and Stoke. He has also made 29 appearances for Egypt, netting 17 goals along the way, and has been awarded the African Nations Most Promising Talent of the Year in the 2012 tournament. The Independent