Egypt’s votes for national icon Mohamed Salah for the world’s best player award were rejected by FIFA because they were signed in capital letters and deemed invalid, world football’s governing body said Friday.
Cairo had demanded an explanation after the results of voting for the FIFA Player of the Year were announced Monday but Egypt’s support for Salah was ignored. The Liverpool star placed fourth, 20 votes behind winner Lionel Messi.
The results are based on the votes of national coaches, team captains and members of the press in selecting their top players of the year.
According to FIFA the “signatures on the voting forms were in capital letters and thus seemed not valid (not authentic)” and “the voting forms were also not signed by the General Secretary which is mandatory.”
They added they had sent two reminders to the Egyptian FA to sent correct forms, but they had failed to do so by the deadline of August 21.
Salah hinted at his disappointment on social media, changing his Twitter bio to say he only plays for Liverpool and removing any mention of his affiliation to Egypt.
Salah posted a conciliatory tweet later saying “no matter how much they try to change my love for you and your people”, referring to Egypt, “they won’t be able to”.
The only Egyptian vote for the award was made by journalist Hany Danial, who selected Senegal’s Sadio Mane as his player of the year.