Mohamed Salah ‘insulted’ in Egyptian image rights dispute
The Liverpool winger has hit out after his image appeared on the outside of the Egyptian nation team’s plane.
Premier League player Mohamed Salah says he is insulted over the representation of his image amid a dispute with the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) ahead of the World Cup in Russia in June.
The Egyptian soccer star is furious his image features prominently on the outside of the national team’s official plane, which was provided by official sponsor WE.
Liverpool’s winger, a huge celebrity in his native Egypt, has a sponsorship deal with rival telecommunications firm Vodafone.
Salah 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! 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
“We have not even been contacted for a resolution! Nothing! Complete silence!” he tweeted.
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.
However, Egypt’s Youth and Sports Minister Khaled Abd Elaziz said he is communicating with all of the concerned parties.
“Especially since Egypt is going to participate in the 2018 World Cup,” Mr Elaziz tweeted. “Mohamed Salah is an idol for Egyptian youth, loving and loyal to his homeland and represents his country in Europe in the best way.”
Salah’s tweet went viral on social media and Egyptian fans launched a Twitter hashtag, #Support_Mohamed_Salah.
Egypt has qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 28 years and its chances in Group A against host Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay rest largely on 25-year-old Salah’s shoulders.