Millions of Egyptians were left disappointed after Liverpool star Mohamed Salah failed to break his silence after Egypt’s first democratically-elected president Mohammad Mursi died in detention, prompting many to wonder whether the soccer superstar actually supports putschist president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Mursi, who passed away Monday while in a courtroom facing charges many believed to be politically-motivated, became the president of Egypt in June 2012, after former leader Hosni Mubarak stepped down following mass demonstrations.
After serving in office for a year, he was deposed at the hands of a military uprising led by Egypt’s current leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Many held their breaths in anticipation after Egypt’s other celebrated soccer player Mohammad Abu Trika took to Twitter to express condolences following the president’s death, in hopes that Salah would soon follow suit.
However, the soccer star opted to remain silent, choosing instead to post Liverpool news and random photos from his holiday.
Salah, who became a role model for all Muslims after his stellar performance on the world stage, has become the target for criticism on social media for his perceived support for al-Sisi.
Since Mursi’s ouster, Egypt’s post-coup authorities have waged a relentless crackdown on dissent, killing hundreds of the former president’s supporters and throwing thousands in jail on “violence” charges.
Shortly after the coup, Mursi’s party, the Muslim Brotherhood was officially designated a “terrorist organization” in Egypt.
In the aftermath of the military overthrow, then-U.S. President Barack Obama refrained from using “coup” to describe Sisi’s actions, and supported a transition of power in Egypt’s government.