The Egyptian Football Association have claimed that their players and Mo Salah “in particular” were the subject of racism in their penalty shoot-out defeat to Senegal on Tuesday.
Senegal beat Egypt on penalties in the Africa Cup of Nations final last month and the same happened last night after the Lions of Teranga won the leg 1-0 to draw level 1-1 on aggregate.
Sadio Mane slotted the decisive penalty to send Senegal to the finals while his Liverpool team-mate Salah suffered shoot-out heartbreak for Egypt.
Mane’s spot-kick concluded a dramatic second leg in Diamniadio after Hamdi Fathi’s fourth-minute own goal hauled the hosts level following Egypt’s 1-0 win in Cairo on Friday night.
Senegal dominated most of the proceedings and Egypt were indebted to keeper Mohamed El Shenawy who produced a series of stunning saves to deny Pape Abdou Cisse and Ismaila Sarr in extra-time.
Salah blazed Egypt’s first penalty over the bar and after both sides contrived to miss their first four spot-kicks combined, it fell to Mane to seal his side’s passage to Qatar.
But the post-match proceedings were dominated by events off the field with Senegal supporters using laser pens to try and put off Egyptian players during the shoot-out.
While Egypt claimed Salah and other players were subjected to racist abuse and that the Egypt squad had been “intimidated” on the way into the stadium and during the warm-up.
“The Egypt national team have been exposed to racism with offensive signs in the stands against the Egyptian players in general, and Mohamed Salah in particular,” the Egpyt FA wrote in a statement (via Sky Sports).
“The crowd also intimidated the players by throwing bottles and rocks on them during the warm-up. The Egyptian group’s buses have also been exposed to assaults that led to broken windows and injuries; filed with pictures and videos as proof in the complaint submitted.”
Meanwhile, former Liverpool forward El-Hadji Diouf thinks Salah – who is currently negotiating a new contract at Anfield – should stay at the Premier League club.
“It is obvious that Liverpool must accept Salah’s demands,” Diouf told beIN Sports.
“If I were Salah, I would stay at Liverpool, he can make more money, he is the best player at the club with [Sadio] Mane, and with him they will win a lot of trophies.
“He’s 30 years old, and I’m asking him to play 4 more years with the Reds. A transfer to Real Madrid will mean he will have to start all over again.”