Egyptian football star Mohamed Salah has said teammate Amr Warda “shouldn’t be sent straight to the guillotine” after he was kicked out of the national squad in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Salah, who recently won the Champions League with his club side Liverpool, stressed that “women must be treated with the utmost respect,” before adding that “those who make mistakes can change for the better and shouldn’t be sent straight to the guillotine, which is the easiest way out.”
The 27-year-old forward called on the social media community to “believe in second chances,” apparently referring to Warda’s recent exclusion from the national team.
“We need to believe in second chances… we need to guide and educate,” he wrote. “Shunning is not the answer.”
Although Warda’s name was not mentioned in the tweets, Salah’s followers quickly assumed that the messages concerned Warda’s expulsion and expressed resentment over Salah’s reaction which was deemed inappropriate by many.
“How-come ya Mo? You’re an idol and a role model for all of us, whether we are Children, Youth or Men. and justifying such an outrageous act like this, is ABSOLUTELY DISGRACEFUL!!” one user wrote.
“Should be held accountable. This is why there are laws and his suspension is just and fair. I really hope you do not continue to align yourself with a sex offender,” another person added.
“Seriously? I don’t think you will be that forgiving if Mecca was his victim. Don’t be a pimp,” one comment reads.
On Wednesday, Warda was expelled from the Egyptian national team following allegations that he sexually harassed several women online.
Warda became embroiled in a huge scandal after British-Egyptian model Merhan Keller presented screenshots containing sexually-themed messages from the player who reportedly harassed Keller and other women online.
The Egyptian Football Federation said that the footballer was excluded from the team for breaching the code of discipline.