The Reds forward, who has been on international duty with his country, has tested positive in two successive swabs
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) confirmed that forward Mohamed Salah has tested positive for coronavirus after initial confusion over the Liverpool star’s test result.
The EFA originally announced on Friday that Salah had tested positive before later deleting the statement and putting out a different announcement, saying three players from Egypt and their opponents on Saturday, Togo, tested positive and will have a second test before the match.
But a follow-up statement from the EFA later on Friday confirmed that Salah’s second swab had also come back positive, meaning the 28-year-old will now be forced into self-isolation.
“A second swab was carried out by Mohamed Salah, the national team and Liverpool star, and the result showed a positive case of the big star infected with the coronavirus,” an EFA statement said.
“The first swab came out positive, but the Egyptian Football Federation decided to do a second swab to confirm the result, as the big star’s case received great attention from the federation at all levels.
“The star of Egypt is in high spirits and has no symptoms, while an isolation room and another room are equipped to be followed up medically, as the team doctor Dr. Mohamed Abu Alala communicates with Dr. Kim Moxen, the head of Liverpool’s medical staff, for follow-up and coordination.”
The news is a fresh blow for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who has already lost central defender Joe Gomez during this international break. The England international was injured during a training session and had to undergo surgery on his knee. He now faces months out.
Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold are also long-term absentees with injury for the Premier League champions.
The only silver lining for Liverpool is the case of Xherdan Shaqiri. He posted a false positive when initially being diagnosed with coronavirus while on international duty with Switzerland last month and did not have to miss any games after passing the second round of testing.
However both Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara have previously tested positive and were forced to miss the Premier League visit to Aston Villa, which Liverpool lost 7-2 in a stunning collapse.
Salah had been called up for Egypt ahead of a double header against Togo in Africa Cup of Nations qualification. They play at home on Saturday before travelling to the west African nation for the return fixture on Tuesday.
The forward was recently filmed dancing at his brother’s wedding, with no social distancing or protection such as face masks. He has also trained with his Egyptian team-mates, with reports in Africa now suggesting the continental Champions League final between two Egyptian sides – Al-Ahly and Zamalek – could be at risk.
The CAF Champions League final is currently scheduled for November 27.
Salah has been in superb form for Liverpool this season, scoring eight goals in as many Premier League games, and 10 strikes in 13 matches in all competitions.
The Reds will now be sweating on the fitness of their star attacker, ahead of a return to English top-flight action at home to current Premier League leaders Leicester City on November 21, followed by a home Champions League clash against Atalanta four days later.