Mohamed Salah says Egypt teammate 'shouldn’t be sent straight to the guillotine'

Amr Warda was kicked out of the Afcon 2019 squad hours before the host's second match for allegedly sending lewd messages to a model

epa07675890 Mohamed Salah of Egypt celebrates a goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) group A soccer between Egypt and DR Congo in Cairo, Egypt, 26 June 2019.  EPA/GAVIN BARKER

Mohamed Salah has suggested the Egyptian football association was too hasty in throwing out a teammate from the Africa Cup of Nations for his off-the-pitch conduct.

Amr Warda, 25, was removed from the squad hours before their Group A match against DR Congo on Wednesday following accusations by a Dubai-based Egyptian model that he had harassed her in online exchanges last week. Warda has denied any wrongdoing.

The model, identified in Egyptian media by only one name, Mirihan, accused Warda of using threatening language when she rejected his advances.

"I know how to get your number. You don't know who you [are] dealing with. No one brushes me off," she quoted him as writing to her late one night last week.

Salah, 27, tweeted after Wednesday's match that women must be treated "with the utmost respect" but also that Warda should be given the chance to atone for his mistakes.

The issue was thought to have been resolved with a warning until a video clip surfaced online on Tuesday night purporting to show the player engaging in a sexual act with an unidentified woman. This led to the Egyptian FA to make a brief statement that Warda was expelled ahead of their second Group A game.

The off-field issue did not distract the tournament hosts, who ran out 2-0 winners against DR Congo. Salah got his tournament up and running with the second goal after Ahmed Elmohamady prodded home the first.