After his team crashed out of the World Cup, Egypt’s star player Mohamed Salah has won a consolation prize in the form of honorary citizenship of Chechnya.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov wrote on Telegram that he had presented the Liverpool star with the honorary title while hosting a dinner for the Egypt team, whose World Cup training base is in the Chechen capital, Grozny.
“Mohamed Salah is an honorary citizen of Chechnya! That’s right!” Kadyrov wrote late on Friday. “Tonight I signed a decree to grant the high honor to the great footballer who plays for Egypt and Liverpool.”
Kadyrov is known as an ardent soccer fan and in 2013 took to the public address system during a match involving Chechen team Akhmat to publicly insult the referee.
Salah has been photographed smiling and clasping hands with Kadyrov during the tournament.
Egypt crashed out of the World Cup on Tuesday after losing to Russia 3-1. The Egyptians play their final match against Saudi Arabia tomorrow.
Kadyrov said that at “a gala dinner that I gave for the Egypt team I presented Mohamed Salah with a copy of my decree and a lapel badge. This is a well-deserved honor!”
The Chechen leader has previously presented French actor Gerard Depardieu with the same honorary title.
He also said that he was confident that Akhmat would play a friendly with the Egyptian team in Grozny at some future date.
Kadyrov said Salah had praised the “wonderfully warm and good welcome” the team received in Grozny.
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