Egyptian TV Host Tamer Amin: If Liverpool F.C. Signs an Israeli Player, Star Player Mo Salah Should Quit
During a December 26,2018, show on Al-Nahar TV (Egypt), TV host Tamer Amin criticized Liverpool F.C., to which Egyptian soccer superstar Mohamed Salah belongs, for considering signing an Israeli soccer player onto the team, as some press reports have indicated. The player in question is Moanes Dabour, an Arab-Israeli footballer currently playing for Red Bull Salzburg and the Israeli national team. Amin explained that Salah had told the team's management that he might leave the team if they signed the Israeli player. Amin said that it is unheard of that a professional soccer player would request from his team's management to not sign another player on the basis of nationality, but that Salah would be simply unable to attend training camps, practice, eat, or drink alongside an Israeli player, or embrace him after scoring a goal. Amin said that Liverpool's management should respect Salah's situation and that he would encourage Salah to leave the team if they insisted on signing Dabour.
Following are excerpts:
Tamer Amin: Let’s talk about the not-so-great news, which has been going around for the past 48 hours: Liverpool F.C. plans to sign an Israeli striker to the team, God forbid. The news from the past 48 hours is that Liverpool F.C. is thinking about signing the striker of the Israeli national soccer team. I don’t know his name… It’s something like Shafkhoor, or Fashkhooshe, or whatever…
It has also been said that Mohammed Salah, our esteemed Egyptian Arab star, said to the club’s management, in a friendly manner, that they should not sign this striker because he would not be able to play with him or alongside him. He said that if they insist on signing him, he might leave the team.
According to the law and the conventions of professionalism that all the countries in the world abide by, there is no such thing as Israeli, Egyptian, Palestinian, Syrian, Norwegian, New Zealander, Brazilian, and so on. In the eyes of FIFA, you are a soccer player. As for Liverpool F.C., it is unheard of that a player would tell them who to sign and who not to sign, or that he doesn’t like to play with someone of a certain nationality, or that he has political or emotional problems with that player or another.
On the other hand, it is a very difficult situation. If Salah abides by the laws and principles of professionalism, it is going to be a problem, and I tell you it won’t work. Salah would not be able to play alongside the Israeli striker. They would have to attend training camps together, practice together, see each other every day, eat together, and drink together. They would have to work together on the field, exchanging passes and so on… If the Israeli striker, God forbid, scores a goal, Salah would have to go hug him and celebrate with him. And if Salah scores a goal, the other one – that insolent person – would have to go celebrate with him, hug him, and so on. It is a big problem. Every Egyptian, regardless of the peace agreements and all the politics… We, as a people, are completely cut off [from Israel]. There isn’t any normalization with Israel. We feel hatred towards the Zionist entity, especially because of what they do to the Palestinians. And that’s without mentioning the dark history of their occupation of our lands and their killing of our sons. This cannot happen. This simply cannot happen.
In my opinion, the Liverpool F.C. management, and the professional staff headed by the German coach Jürgen Klopp, must respect the difficult and sensitive nature of Mohamed Salah’s situation, and his inability to play alongside an Israeli player. They must respect that. And if Liverpool F.C. can’t respect that, and they eventually sign an Israeli striker, I would say to Salah: “Leave them!”