‘We will not play Mo Salah unless he has totally recovered’

Mohamed Salah boards the team bus after arriving with the Egypt team at an airport outside Grozny, Russia. (AP)
Updated 11 June 2018
0

‘We will not play Mo Salah unless he has totally recovered’

  • Verdict of Egypt team doctor
  • Salah arrives in Russia with everyone wondering when he will play

GROZNY, Russia: Egypt’s Mohamed Salah arrived in Russia Sunday, with the Pharaohs hopeful the star striker can complete a dramatic injury comeback in time for their opening World Cup match against Uruguay.
Salah and his teammates touched down in Grozny ahead of Egypt’s third appearance at the World Cup, ending a drought stretching back to 1990.
The seven-time African champions play their opening Group A fixture on Friday, June 15, against Uruguay.
“The team is ready for the competition and morale is high,” national team manager Ihab Leheta told AFP at the Grozny International Airport.
The Pharaohs have never progressed beyond the group stages and Salah is seen as crucial to their chances of making an impression at the tournament in Russia.
The goal-scoring talisman has been sidelined since exiting Liverpool’s 3-1 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in tears after injuring his shoulder when Sergio Ramos wrestled him to the ground.
But such has been his form for the English Premiership club — 44 goals in all competitions for the season — that he has been included in Egypt’s squad even though there is no guarantee he will play.
Team doctor Mohamed Abou Al-Ela told ON Sport TV on Saturday night that they would make an assessment on Salah’s ability to play early this week.
“We won’t be able to tell until after two days,” he said, declining to give any more details.
“We will not have him play unless he has totally recovered.”
On May 30, Egypt officials said Salah would be out for “not more” than three weeks, which would rule him out of the Uruguay match but put him in the frame for Russia on June 19 and Saudi Arabia on June 25.
The player attended Egypt’s final training session in Cairo on Saturday night but did not take part, restricting himself to briefly dribbling the ball on the corner of the pitch.


Canelo Alvarez signs largest contract in the history of sport

Updated 14 min 59 sec ago
0

Canelo Alvarez signs largest contract in the history of sport

  • A massive moneymaker when he fought on pay-per-view, Alvarez will be able to be seen for much cheaper on the sports-streaming service DAZN
  • A third fight with Golovkin could feature in the 11-fight deal after their draw and Alvarez’s narrow victory in the rematch

NEW YORK: Canelo Alvarez is boxing’s new $365 million man.
Alvarez has signed an 11-fight deal that his promotional company says is the richest athlete contract in sports history, guaranteeing the Mexican middleweight champion at least that much money to have his fights shown on the sports-streaming service DAZN, beginning with his next bout.
Alvarez will move up in weight to challenge WBA super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding on Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden.
A massive moneymaker when he fought on pay-per-view, Alvarez will be able to be seen for much cheaper through the subscription service that launched in the US in September and now features perhaps the two biggest figures in boxing in Alvarez and heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
“We have No. 1 and No. 2. They’re the two most important fighters in the world,” DAZN executive chairman John Skipper said. “Canelo fighting on DAZN, we believe that that will help us attract some of the other fighters, some of the other premier fighters.”
Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) is coming off a victory over Gennady Golovkin in a middleweight showdown in September. That fight, like most of boxing’s biggest, was shown on pay-per-view. It cost $84.95 to be seen in high definition.
And while planning his next fight, Golden Boy Promotions also needed a place to put it. With HBO bowing out of boxing after this year, the company had talks with Showtime, ESPN and Turner Sports about televising Alvarez’s future bouts.
But Skipper made an aggressive offer for DAZN (pronounced Da-Zone) when he met with Golden Boy about two weeks ago and the deal was quickly finalized.
“John came with the best deal. John Skipper came, he wasn’t playing games,” Golden Boy President Eric Gomez said. “He said, our first meeting with him over two weeks ago, he came to our office and said, ‘I’ve got a blank check, I’m not leaving until we make a deal.’ And he put his money where his mouth is.”
Skipper said it wasn’t quite a blank check, but one that ensured Alvarez wouldn’t be taking a pay cut to leave pay-per-view. He said Alvarez’s last three fights generated 3.6 million buys and nearly a quarter of a billion dollars, making him someone who can be transformative to a subscription service focused largely — at least for now — on combat sports.
“So I’ve got to find those fans,” Skipper said. “They are going to want to watch his fights and they’re going to get to buy them for a lot less expensive than they did before.”
It will cost them $9.99 a month for a subscription in the US Under the five-year partnership, Golden Boy also will put on up to 10 fight nights per year that will stream live on DAZN beginning in early 2019.
Gomez said Alvarez is committed to fighting 11 times during the deal and willing to fight any of the contenders at 160 or 168 pounds. Alvarez said for now his plan is to return to 160 after the bout against Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs), a British fighter who appeared significantly taller than Alvarez, who will be trying to win a title in his third weight class.
A third fight with Golovkin would be a natural after their draw and Alvarez’s narrow victory in the rematch, but there would be plenty more options at middleweight if they don’t meet again.
Whoever he ends up with, at least Alvarez knows now where it can be seen.
“I’ve always said that when one door closes another one opens and we’re very happy with this new alliance that we’ve made with DAZN,” Alvarez said through an interpreter. “Forget about what the price is, the amount of money that we’re making. The most important thing is that fans can enjoy this fight at a very low price.”