Mohamed Salah willing to ‘sacrifice’ Champions League dream for Premier League glory

Salah came close to winning the Champions League last season when Liverpool reached the final. (AFP)
Updated 12 March 2019
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Mohamed Salah willing to ‘sacrifice’ Champions League dream for Premier League glory

  • Egyptian ace aware that Premier League title is what Liverpool fans are most desperate for.
  • Salah key to Reds hopes of beating Bayern Munich in Europe on Wednesday.

LIVERPOOL: Mohamed Salah is willing to put his Champions League ambitions on the back-burner to help the Merseyside club claim their first English league crown in 29 years, the Egyptian forward has said.
Liverpool are second in the Premier League with 73 points, one point behind defending champions Manchester City with eight matches remaining in the season.
Juergen Klopp’s side are also competing for silverware in the Champions League where they visit Bayern Munich on Wednesday for the return leg of their last-16 tie, after the sides played out a 0-0 draw at Anfield last month.
“I’ll be honest with you, the most prestigious competition for me is the Champions League,” Salah said.
“But the dream for the city and the club is the league. So, I’m happy to sacrifice my dream for their dream but if we win both that would great and this is what we are trying to do.”
Salah, who suffered a shoulder injury in last year’s Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid, later said Liverpool were mentally prepared to take advantage if City lose their way in the home stretch of the domestic season.
“The competition is very tough and we have difficult games left as do they,” the 26-year-old added.
“All you can do is win your games and hopefully they will fail in one so we can win the title. My mind is sharp and there is pressure but I’m strong mentally and we have to keep going.
“We will see what we can do at the end of the season but mentally I am ready for everything.”
After Wednesday’s clash at Bayern, Liverpool return to league action with a trip to 19th-placed Fulham on Sunday.


FIFA: Iran must allow women into football games

Updated 20 September 2019

FIFA: Iran must allow women into football games

DUBAI: The ban on women attending football matches in Iran is “unacceptable” and must be lifted, the head of the sports’ world governing body said in a statement.

FIFA’s position is “clear and firm” and that women “have to be allowed” into football stadiums in the country, according to president Gianni Infantino.

Iran’s ban on women attending sports stadiums was put in place shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, despite international pressure to let them attend.

Infantino’s call comes shortly after the death of Sahar Khodayari, a female fan who set herself on fire after she was denied access to a football stadium in Tehran.

Khodayari, dubbed the “Blue Girl” because of the colors of the team she supported, Esteghlal FC, was detained and charged with “openly committing a sinful act” by “appearing in public without a hijab” after attempting to enter a stadium “dressed as a man” in March.

She died of her injuries on September 9 in a hospital after setting herself on fire outside a court earlier this month.

“I am hopeful that the Iranian Federation and the Iranian authorities were receptive to our repeated calls to address this unacceptable situation,” Infantino said in a statement.

“I contacted them several times in the recent past and so has the FIFA administration. We have a delegation of FIFA members in Iran at the moment and I am looking forward to hearing good news from them.

“We understand there are steps and processes that need to be taken before this is done in a proper and safe way but now is the moment to change things and FIFA is expecting positive developments starting in the next Iran home match in October.”

Iran’s Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar has asked the judiciary to investigate the circumstances of Khodayari’s death, although the department’s spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaili, has said that Khodayari “had clearly confessed her mistake during questioning, accepted it and expressed regret.”

FIFA has sent a letter to the to the Iranian Football Federation in June, requesting a timeline that would allow women to be able to buy tickets for World Cup qualifiers. Iran’s men’s national team takes on Cambodia in a World Cup qualifying game on October 10.