Egypt's history-making keeper El Hadary apologises to nation

Mahmoud Kahraba

The Egyptian Football Association insists star player Mohamed Salah has never discussed worldwide retirement with them.

El Hadary said on the eve of the match that it would be a huge honor if he were to get the chance to become the oldest player in World Cup history.

The 26-year-old took a full part in training in Volgograd on Sunday and will play against Saudi Arabia, AFP Sport understands, because he wants to lead Egypt to a first ever win at the World Cup.

Images of Salah and the controversial leader quickly circulated online before the World Cup began, with Kadyrov visibly grasping the hand of the Egypt star as a show of solidarity.

In the press conference Hector Cuper talked about Egypt's performance, how he found the team in good shape in the first half and why he will not resign.

"It is a deserved honour", Kadyrov wrote on social media, adding that Salah's presence had ignited "unprecedented interest in football" in the region.

Footballer Mo Salah has been granted honorary citizenship of Chechnya at a banquet held by its leader, Ramzan Kadyrov. He is eating and laughing with his teammates.

Salah received an injury in that game and subsequently missed Egypt's opening World Cup match against Uruguay, which the Pharaohs lost 1-0 in the last minute.

Before Egypt's first 2018 World Cup game, Kadryov used Salah to burnish his image. "He is training well and that means no problem".

Kadyrov, leader of Chechnya since 2004, has been accused of numerous human rights violations, including discriminating against women and persecuting sexual minorities.

With Egypt facing fellow World Cup departees Saudi Arabia this afternoon in a match that has no importance to the overall progression of the World Cup, Salah has been selected to play in his country's final 90 minutes in Russian Federation.

He didn't make his debut for Egypt until 1996 but since then he has gone on to earn over 150 caps for his country.

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