Cuper: Too Risky To Have Played Salah

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Egypt head coach, Hector Cuper said they preferred not to risk Mohamed Salah in the opening group game, with two matches still to play.

The Pharaohs lacked the bite in their attack against Uruguay, but held their own for most of the match.

However, a last minute header from Gimenez won the game for the South Americans. Nevertheless, Cuper does not regret resting Salah, with games against Russia and Saudi Arabia to consider.

“The decision is always taken by myself and the staff – especially in the case of Mo,” Cuper told a news conference.

“We were quite certain in the training session that he would be able to play. At the end of the training session, he was examined by the doctors and there was some doubt.

“If he fell or was hit by another player, we thought he might get another injury. We wanted to avoid any further injury. The odds were important.

“We decided not to take that risk. We want to be sure we can have him on top form against Russia and Saudi Arabia.”

Cuper preferred not to speculate about how Salah’s presence might have affected the result, though.

He said: “Mo Salah is an extremely important player for us. That’s beyond any shadow of a doubt – nobody can deny that.

“But I need to stress that you need to have good players but also a good team. I think Egypt are a good team.

“Perhaps if Mo had been on the pitch, the outcome would have been different. But we don’t know that. He has contributed a great deal to the team and will in future matches.”



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