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Salah reprieved from Egyptian national service after being excused by the Prime Minister

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Michael Steele

The worry over whether or not Mohamed Salah would be called up for Egyptian military service didn't last long. Just days after the story broke, Salah has officially been reprieved. At least, according to the Daily Mail, who claim that Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab* personally reprieved the 22-year-old winger.

*Commenter egy195 points out that Prime Minister Mahlab is also the former president of Salah's first club, Arab Contractors SC.

Assuming the report is accurate, this is obviously fantastic news. The prospect of losing Salah to military duty during some crucial formative years were distinctly unappealling for just about everyone involved and would have been seriously damaging to the development of the sport in Egypt. Salah being recalled would have acted as a major deterrent to clubs looking to buy Egyptian footballers, and it's good that the government has recognised the issue.

Now, why this came about in the first place -- Salah was allowed to travel abroad without national service thanks to an educational exemption before having said exemption revoked earlier in the week -- is a different question entirely. Perhaps finding a way to allow your country's sportsmen to travel without giving them random scares would be a good plan, Egypt? It's not like Salah is the first footballer this has happened to, either.