Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is leading mediation efforts to convince Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to issue a presidential pardon for former footballer Mohamed Aboutrika.
According to Al-Khaleej Al-Jadeed, Salah is trying to convince the Egyptian authorities to end Aboutrika's plight and allow him back into the country. Aboutrika has been living outside Egypt for around two years after being accused of joining the Muslim Brotherhood, which has faced an intense crackdown by the Egyptian government.
Salah's efforts come ahead of Egypt's hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) later this year. Salah is hoping that Aboutrika – a former player for the Cairo-based Al-Ahly Club and Egypt's national team – will be present during the AFCON events to support the national team in its attempt to win the title for the eighth time.
While receiving the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Player of the Year award, Salah praised Aboutrika, saying he "is the star of all times".
Salah's mediation efforts are also receiving huge support from the President of the Egyptian Football Association, Hany Abu Rida, while the hashtag #pardon_Aboutrika had been shared widely on social media.