Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
Seven days after the original incident, Basel’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamad Salah did it again.
Last week, during Basel’s home match against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League, Basel’s star winger, Egyptian Mohamad Salah, went to great lengths to avoid shaking hands with his Israeli opponents.
Salah positioned a pair of boots on the side of the pitch and avoided the pre-match handshakes under the pretense of changing his orange Adidas footwear.
That incident went viral, and ahead of the return leg in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night there had been planty of chatter whether Salah would even be arriving in the Jewish land for political reasons.
In the end Salah did turn up in Israel, despite telling reporters before the match:
In my thoughts I am going to play in Palestine and not Israel, and I am also going to score and win there. The Zionist flag won’t be shown in the Champions League.
As it turned out, Salah’s pre-match predictions played out according to his word. The Egyptian scored Basel’s second goal in a thrilling 3-3 draw, which saw the Swiss club knock out Maccabi 4-3 on aggregate.
Salah’s behaviour before the match in Tel Aviv also drew plenty of attention as, once again, the Basel player fudged the pre-game handshake pomp.
Rather than shaking his opponents hands like normal, Salah devised a trick to get around the customarily duty as he gave a fist-bump to the Maccabi players as he walked down the line.
Many reports in the Arab world seem to be celebrating Salah’s innovative way of not shaking the Maccabi Tel Aviv player’s hands, however these days it could be argued that a fist-bump is a normal method of displaying a greeting in public.
Will UEFA investigate this shocking lack of sportsmanship from the Egyptian?
Watch footage of Basel’s Mohamad Salah getting around shaking hands with Maccabi Tel Aviv players below, along with his goal on the night.