Liverpool Forward, Mohamed Salah Test Positive For Coronavirus
The Reds forward, who has been on international duty with his country, has tested positive in two successive swabs
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) confirmed that forward Mohamed Salah has tested positive for coronavirus after initial confusion over the Liverpool star’s test result.
The EFA originally announced on Friday that Salah had tested positive before later deleting the statement and putting out a different announcement, saying three players from Egypt and their opponents on Saturday, Togo, tested positive and will have a second test before the match.
But a follow-up statement from the EFA later on Friday confirmed that Salah’s second swab had also come back positive, meaning the 28-year-old will now be forced into self-isolation.
“Egyptian National Team and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has undergone a second test, and the results have confirmed that Salah tested positive for Covid-19,” an EFA statement said.
“All necessary medical precautions have been taken in line with the global medical protocol and under the supervision of Dr. Mohamed Sutan, Head of the Medical Committee at the EFA as well as Dr. Mohamed Abou El Ela, Egyptian National Team doctor.
“While the first swab offered a positive result, the Egyptian FA has decided to carry out a second test to confirm the result.
“Salah is keeping a high spirit and is not showing any symptoms of the virus. He has been isolated and the National Team’s doctor is currently liaising with Dr. Jim Moxon, head of Liverpool FC’s medical staff, regarding this matter.”
The news is a fresh blow for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who has already lost central defender Joe Gomez during this international break. The England international was injured during a training session and had to undergo surgery on his knee. He now faces months out.
Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold are also long-term absentees with injury for the Premier League champions.
The only silver lining for Liverpool is the case of Xherdan Shaqiri. He posted a false positive when initially being diagnosed with coronavirus while on international duty with Switzerland last month and did not have to miss any games after passing the second round of testing.
However, both Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara have previously tested positive and were forced to miss the Premier League visit to Aston Villa, which Liverpool lost 7-2 in a stunning collapse.
Salah had been called up for Egypt ahead of a double header against Togo in Africa Cup of Nations qualification. They play at home on Saturday before travelling to the west African nation for the return fixture on Tuesday.
The forward was recently filmed dancing at his brother’s wedding, seemingly with no social distancing in place or face masks being used. He has also trained with his Egyptian team-mates, with reports in Africa now suggesting the continental Champions League final between two Egyptian sides – Al-Ahly and Zamalek – could be at risk.
Ashraf Sobhi, the Minister of Sports & Youth in Egypt, has since revealed to MBC Masr that Salah is in good health, despite the positive test, and that he is able to be transferred to hospital if required.
Sobhi also insisted that the wedding ceremony that Salah attended was under strict measures regarding health and safety protocol, claiming that the player could have been infected with the virus anywhere at any time, be it in Egypt or England.
Amr El-Ganainy, head of the Egyptian FA, also denied reports that Liverpool will send a private jet to take Salah back to England to continue his period of self-isolation, insisting that the player “will not leave Egypt until he has fully recovered from the coronavirus”.
Former Chelsea and Roma winger Salah has been in superb form for Liverpool this season, scoring eight goals in as many Premier League games, and 10 strikes in 13 matches in all competitions.
The Reds will now be sweating on the fitness of their star attacker, ahead of a return to English top-flight action at home to current Premier League leaders Leicester City on November 21, followed by a home Champions League clash against Atalanta four days later.