Cairo: Egypt’s soccer icon and Liverpool star Mohammad Salah has voiced anger after fans gathered outside his family’s home north of Cairo and made it hard for him to come out and perform a special prayer marking the start of the Muslim festival of Eid Al Fitr.
“What is happening from some journalists and some people makes it difficult for one to leave the house in order to perform the Eid prayer,” he tweeted in Arabic.
“This has nothing to do with love. This is called non respect of privacy and non-professionalism,” he added.
Thousands of the 26-year-old footballer’ fans have rallied to his home in the village of Nagrieg in the Nile Delta province of Sharqia since the early hours of Wednesday in order to have photos with Salah or ask for personal help, Egyptian media reported.
The throng prompted security forces to intervene, but it was too late for Salah to come out for the prayer.
Some fans expressed sorrow for causing inconvenience to Salah.
“I’ve came from Kafr Al Shaikh [another Nile Delta province] along with my son who wanted to see Salah and have photos with him,” said Walid Salama.
He expressed sadness that the crowding made Salah miss the Eid prayer.
“We are sorry Salah. We apologize for blocking your exit, but we love you,” Salama told private newspaper Al Watan.
The Liverpool marksman had arrived in Egypt on Tuesday to so spend the Eid holiday with his family. His arrival came days after his squad win the European Champions League title after defeating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0. Salah scored the opener in the June 1 final.
Salah is widely popular in Egypt not only for his soccer gifts, but also for his charitable deeds.
He has set up a charity association in his home village that offers financial support for the poor and pays the marriage cost of the people who cannot afford it.
Salah’s benevolence is not limited to his village, though. He regularly donates for hospitals and orphanages in Egypt.