Mohamed Salah could be out for months in 2021 if reports prove correct. The Egyptian may have a particularly hectic schedule.
The football calendar joins just about everything right now in complete uncertainty. No one knows when anything will happen – not even the end of the football season.
As tournaments move to fit in, they will disrupt the usual season and the 2020/21 campaign will feel the effects. Certain players, however, will feel them more than others.
And Salah is one who will surely feel them more than most – possibly more than anyone. That’s because he may have back-to-back international tournaments to begin 2021.
Firstly, there’s the Africa Cup of Nations to start the year. The current tournament dates are January 9th – February 6th, with Cameroon to host. If football is truly back by then, there will be little reason to move it.
Salah, as the star of Egypt’s team, will almost certainly feature. Jurgen Klopp described that situation as a ‘catastrophe’ – no manager wants to lose one of their stars for a chunk of the season.
But things may get even worse. The International Olympic Committee confirmed this week that they may hold the Olympic games in Spring next year, per the Guardian.
That would, much like the ACON, interrupt football’s regular season and Salah may play. Egypt have him on their provisional list – or did before the suspension – and it’s entirely possible that he wants to play. That would leave Salah out for months in 2021.
The good news is that Liverpool don’t have to release him if they don’t want to. You’d imagine it will go down to discussions with Salah then but if he wants to play, Liverpool may struggle to stop him. It won’t be a nice situation if the club denies him his opportunity at the tournament.
So it’s a case of wait and see. Discussions will happen over the next little while but right now, there’s the real possibility of Liverpool and Salah being in a tough position early next year.