The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has been heavily criticised after an argument broke out about Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah’s image rights.
Salah, 25, is uncomfortable with his image being used on the side of the national team’s official plane, provided by official sponsor WE.
The Egyptian forward has a sponsorship deal with WE’s rivals Vodafone – an agreement that has produced a high-profile conflict of interest.
The story about Salah’s image rights has erupted in Egypt, where the recently crowned PFA Footballer of the Year is an icon. Fans quickly took to social media, using #Support_Mohamed_Salah.
Salah himself tweeted in Arabic: “Sorry but this is a major insult … I was hoping the deal would be classier than this.”
Ramy Abbas, Salah’s agent, said he was waiting for a response from Egyptian officials.
“We have not even been contacted for a resolution! Nothing! Complete silence!” he tweeted.
We have not even been contacted for a resolution! Nothing! Complete silence! What’s the plan?! We just see more and more billboards and ads coming out which we have never authorised! What effect do they think this is having? A good one?! Anyway, time is of the essence…
— Ramy Abbas Issa (@RamyCol) April 28, 2018
Abbas argued that EFA and its sponsor, advertising agency Presentation, had no right to use Salah’s image without written consent from MS Commercial, Cayman, the firm that owns Salah’s image rights.
Egypt’s Youth and Sports Minister Khaled Abd Elaziz tried to dampen talk of discord, however, tweeting: “Especially since Egypt is going to participate in the 2018 World Cup. Mohamed Salah is an idol for Egyptian youth, loving and loyal to his homeland and represents his country in Europe in the best way.”