Status: 20.11.2023, 19:31 PM
By: Stefan Schmid
Shocking scenes at the World Cup qualifying match between Egypt and Sierra Leone. Fans rush onto the pitch in the direction of Mo Salah with different intentions.
Monrovia – While Europe has not even completed qualifying for the 2024 European Championship, African teams are already playing the participants for the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the USA. Since 15 November, not only Bundesliga players such as Sébastien Haller (Ivory Coast) and Omar Marmoush (Egypt) have been fighting for a place in the finals, but also Liverpool star Mo Salah.
The Egyptian faced Sierra Leona on matchday two of qualifying Group A. On the evening of 19 November, Liverpool's attacking force was exposed to things that even brought the military to the scene.
Mohamed Salah played Egypt's first qualifying matches for the 2026 World Cup. IMAGO/Photo M.Bayoumy ©/SFSI
Scenes of beating during World Cup qualifiers between Sierra Leone and Egypt
It was the 89th minute of the game at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in the Liberian capital Monrovia, when suddenly a handful of fans stormed the pitch. The match, which was played in the neighbouring state of Sierra Leone due to a lack of alternative stadiums, had to be interrupted. The target of the strikers was apparently the superstar Mohamed Salah.
But none of the spectators sprinting towards Salah managed to get through. The first one on the field was torn to the ground by the security forces, where he had to take a few more heavy blows. Another ran straight into the arms of a security guard, while a third was driven away by the Egyptian Mohamed Abdelmonem, who intervened hand-to-hand.
Salah probably stormed for different reasons
What each person was after seems to be of a different nature. While the one who was most severely maltreated by the security forces probably wanted to pay homage to Salah – he wore a Liverpool jersey – the second, dressed in a Manchester City jersey, probably had the opposite intentions.
Something similar can be assumed for the last of the three troublemakers, as he immediately sought a physical confrontation. Fortunately, Salah himself remained completely unmolested, also because members of the Egyptian staff immediately rushed onto the pitch and shielded their superstar.
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After the game, the military ensures Salah's safety
After the situation had calmed down, the game could be continued. Apart from the second yellow card for Sierra Leone in the ninth minute of stoppage time, there were no more upsets. After the 2-0 victory, the "Pharaohs" occupy first place in their group with the maximum number of points.
After the final whistle, the situation remained calm, but the security authorities were alerted. A crowd of people in military uniform formed around Salah, who then escorted him safely from the pitch. (sh)