Mohamed Salah has become embroiled in a “very serious issue” with the Egyptian Football Association over his image rights.
A photograph of the Liverpool forward features on the facade of the national team’s official plane, which is being provided by official sponsor ‘WE’ for the World Cup in Russia.
However, Salah has his own individual sponsorship deal with the rival telecommunications firm Vodafone, and his lawyer and agent, Ramy Abbas, is far from impressed.
Taking to Twitter, Abbas wrote: “We are having a very serious issue with the Egyptian Football Association. Any unauthorized use of image rights shall be dealt with severely. All options are on the table.”
Salah, who is the Premier League’s leading goal-scorer, and Egypt’s key player going into the international tournament, also spoke out about the issue.
Alongside an image of himself and Abbas, the 25-year-old former Chelsea and Roma star tweeted the words: “full support”.
The Egyptian FA are refusing to back down over the issue, and are convinced that they have the right to use an image of Salah sporting the national team kit.
The dispute has understandably caused some concern coming so close to the World Cup, in which the nation will want the squad to be unified.
Former Egypt striker Mido said: “The problem between Salah and the sponsorship company must be handled with great intelligence and must meticulously follow the law.
“The timing of the problem is difficult and how do you guarantee that if the company settles with Salah that other players won’t go and ask for the same settlement? These are the type of problems that could destroy any team.
“What I know is that the law allows the national football association to use the image of players collectively in a group photo that includes at least four players for advertising purposes because your country making it to the World Cup helps raise the value of a player worldwide.
“I could be wrong but that is as far as I know when it comes to the rights of players with their national teams.”