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Mohamed Salah runs into military service problem

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Charlie Crowhurst

There's some fascinating news afoot regarding Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah at the moment. King Fut, a site devoted to Egyptian football, has noted that the 22-year-old has had his ability to travel abroad without doing military service rescinded by Egyptian authorities, which could mean that he'd be unable to leave the country should he find himself in Egypt. Which is bad, because that's where his family live.

King Fut quote national team director Ahmed Hassan, who said he'd spoken with Salah about the situation already.

Salah has expressed his shock about the decision. He told me that he is trying to represent Egypt in the best way possible. Is this the best response from the country?

Even assuming the truth of the report, there's no reason to panic just yet, mostly because I don't think anyone has much clue what's going on. Is it possible that this is a big deal? Definitely. Do we know one way or another? Nope. As the King Fut article states, there will be meetings held between the Egyptian FA and the Minister of Higher Education to try to work the issue out.

Is there a precedent? Yep. Striker Mohamed Zidan, then at Borussia Dortmund, was kept in the country for military service back in 2010, but he managed to leave thanks to the fact that he was rehabbing a knee injury and thus was unfit to serve in the armed forces at the time he took his medical. So ... that doesn't really help us much, because Salah getting hurt wouldn't be so good.

What happens next? We have no idea.