Egyptian PL not best in Africa - Salah
Posted: 10 January 2019 Time: 12:00
Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah claims the Egyptian Premier League is 'not a top league in Africa' but has faith its reputation can be restored after Egypt won the rights to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Salah, 26, has emerged as the biggest name from the African continent after a sensational season and a half with the Premier League giants - in which he's netted 60 goals and registered 24 assists in 81 games across all competitions.
This week he joined the likes of Yaya Toure and Samuel Eto'o as players who have retained the CAF African Player of the Year award and upon receiving the prestigious honour he spoke of the domestic scene of his home country.
Egypt were awarded the rights to host the Afcon on the day he was honoured, with the North African ousting South Africa to replace Cameroon as this years' hosts.
"It's the right time for Egypt - as we have to be clear - our league is not a top league in Africa at the moment," Salah said, at the CAF awards ceremony. "I'm sure this is going to be the start for us to be back."
His bold statement has been based on the security issues that plagued the league's growth over the past six years.
A maximum of 5000 supporters have been allowed in to watch games since September last year - which marked the first time authorities cleared fans to watch league matches in over seven years.
Supporters were banned from attending matches in February 2012 after a reported 74 Al Ahly fans died during a game with Al Masry in Port Said.
But Salah is confident that the return of the fans for the upcoming Nations Cup will be a huge boost for football in Egypt and that they can help lift the national team too.
"The fans are going to be back in the stadium, and everything is going to be back like before," Salah said.
"I'm sure everyone knows about Egypt and the seven Africa Cups - we're going to look for number eight now, and this is the best time to start to be back like before."