‘I’ll be Muslim too’: Fans embrace Liverpool’s Mo Salah

Mohamed Salah was born in the Egyptian city of Basyoun, 100km or so north of Cairo [Peter Byrne/PA via AP]

Liverpool Football Club fans have embraced Mohamed Salah, an Egyptian player, with a new chant that celebrates the 25-year-old forward’s faith.

Mohamed Salah was born in the Egyptian city of Basyoun, 100km or so north of Cairo [Peter Byrne/PA via AP]

“Mo Sa-la-la-la-lah, Mo Sa-la-la-la-lah, if he’s good enough for you, he’s good enough for me, if he scores another few, then I’ll be Muslim too,” fans have been filmed chanting from the stadiums to the pubs as they watch Salah’s footwork at play.

The rhyme continues: “He’s sitting in the mosque, that’s where I want to be.”

Saleh, who also plays for Egypt’s national team, is quickly becoming a darling of the English football community.

In 2017, he was named the BBC’s African Footballer of the Year. 

On Wednesday, he became the thirteenth player in Liverpool FC’s 125-year history to score his 30th goal in a season in a match against Porto, prompting some to compare Salah with Argentina’s footballing legend, Lionel Messi.

Luis Suarez, who plays for FC Barcelona, was the last player to achieve 30 goals in a season, in April 2014.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is one of few footballers who has scored 30 goals in a season [Frank Augstein/AP]

The chant for Salah, nicknamed the Egyptian King, is being seen by some as a feat against endemic racism in English football. 

In a report on February 7, Kick It Out – an organisation working to end discrimination in football – said the number of incidents of discrimination at the midway point of the 2017-2018 season had risen.

The organisation received more than 300 reports relating to 282 incidents of discriminatory abuse by the end of 2017, covering the professional game, grassroots football and social media. This marked an increase of 59 percent from the same period last season, when there were 177 incidents.

‘Mo Salah is going to stop Islamophobia’

Several people on social media welcomed the Liverpool FC fans’ chorus. 

“Mo Salah doing more to end the clash of civilisations than anyone else in the world,” joked satirist Karl Sharro.