September 27 – FIFA have responded to the Egyptian FA’s (EFA) request for an explanation over the missing votes for their Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah at this week’s Best FIFA Men’s Player award saying the voting forms were not properly signed.
The EFA says that Pharaohs’ acting coach Shawky Gharib and captain Ahmed Elmohamady both placed votes for Mohamed Salah that were not counted. FIFA put the ball back in Eyypt’s court by explaining two votes for Salah were not counted because signatures were in capital letters.
“The signatures on the voting forms were in capital letters and thus seemed not valid,” FIFA said.
FIFA said it had contacted the EFA – currently under the administration of a FIFA Normalisation Committee – twice.
The results are based on the votes of national coaches, team captains and members of the press in selecting FIFA’s top three players of the year. Once again this year’s award went to Lionel Messi despite Barcelona being humiliatingly knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool after taking a three-goal first-leg semi-final lead.
When FIFA released its results, Egypt was curiously absent from the final vote count. Salah eventually finished fourth, 20 votes behind Messi.
Egypt said it had asked FIFA for an explanation about why its vote “was not approved”. Each nation has three voters: the national team coach, the national team captain and a media representative.
To add insult to injury, the Egyptian journalist included in the voting, picked Senegalese forward Sadio Mane, Salah’s Liverpool team-mate, ahead of the striker who he relegated to third place behind Cristiano Ronaldo.
Salah has since removed ‘Egypt’ from his Twitter profile, which now reads: “Footballer for Liverpool FC.”
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