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Mohamed Salah - From The Bridge to the Barracks?

Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah has recently been in the news for a very disturbing reason, as the 22-year-old faces the prospect of being drafted into the Egyptian Army for between one and three year's service, despite a binding professional contract with an overseas football club.

Now whilst one isn't feigning ignorance of the entrenched traditions, rules and decrees that make it mandatory for Egyptian males[and probably females too?] to serve in the military for a set period of their lives, it beggars believe why the ideologically pro-West new president Abdel al-Sisi's government would want professional footballers not least foreign-based ones who serve as ambassadors of Egypt abroad as soldiers.

I mean, I really do not get the prevailing gist of the matter; is Egypt at war somewhere that they have run out of troops where the thought, never mind action or intended action, of drafting anyone and everyone with Egyptian blood flowing through their veins into the military would make a semblance of sense?

It would be recalled that Egyptian and the world press has recently been inundating Chelsea Football Club and its fans with fears that the youngster who only arrived West London from Swiss outfit FC Basel last winter in an 11m deal could be facing the possibility of a three-year career hiatus for a compulsory military service, and just this morning The Express in its Sunday issue is reporting that "the Minister of Higher Education in Egypt has rescinded [Mohamed] Salah`s participation in an 'educational programme'", which was the basis for his stay in England.

Of course, newly inaugurated president al-Sisi, who on assumption of office in June wasted no time in aligning with the US and other Western allies in peace efforts to stem the wave of terrorism in Iraq and other parts of the troubled Middle East and has to the admiration of the world drawn up a peace plan for Israel and Palestine, is increasingly becoming the bastion of hope for peace in the Middle East so it is a mystery why his military is expanding; what his government is doing or intending to do with professional footballers as soldiers is rather baffling.

In the meantime, while there is yet minimal hope that Mohamed may be exempted from what might essentially turn out a journey of no return, thus truncating his burgeoning football career, one can only hope it isn't too much of a stretch to hope that Egypt can make a paradigm shift from its obsolete anti-human rights traditions and balance its legitimate concerns regarding security and stability both political and economic with a commitment to uphold human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of association and choice, if not a deliberate enactment and nurturing of a human feel to governance and freedom for all Egyptians at home and in diaspora.

There's always an exception to a rule. Hence, let Mohamed Salah play football, please.

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The Journalist

Writer: Josh_Mou  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday July 20 2014

Time: 1:50PM

Your Comments

My question remains the same. why is this just coming up now considering how long Salah has been in europe playing pro footie? there is more to this than meets the eye and the underlying friver of this inquest needs to be found and addressed for this to sorted out well for Salah and Chelsea FC.
You can say that again, bro; so sickening and disheartening. BTW, imagine the justified orgy of laughter at Liverpool if we indeed lose Salah to the Egyptian Army :(
The Josh
He's going nowhere, I'm so sure about it. Watch out.
You can't be sure of anything with a government like that... You just know there's a political agenda behind this... This is Muhammad Ali pt 2, the only difference is that in a country like Egypt, I'm not sure Mohammed Salah will be able to refuse like Ali did; the consequences of a refusal might be too heavy for him to bear. Even if Egypt is at war, is there human scarcity there?
I think they are looking for their own share of the 11m!
Its a really bad situation ,but i think they may let him play ,he is the best player on the Egyptian team and will be a great ambassador .
Michael Reid
Sounds like a great time to get the closest families members out, and never return. It's hard enough to trust government, let alone one that reneges on it's given legally binding word. Too bad he's got a life back in that country. There isn't ***** they could do if he told them to get bent - provided he never had a reason to go back. Poor lad.
Time for Roman to call up his KGB contacts. This problem will dissapear as it appeared. You watch
I wonder what the role of Salah will be at Chelsea this season and how good/bad he will be during the pre-season. He has flair and footballing brain as well as insane speed but I am just waiting to see what Jose will create of him. I hope he can be a great player for Chelsea.
Whose wars are these? The leaders should go out there and fight by themselves. Salah should move his family out of Egypt.

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