Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes Mohamed Salah is joining the right club to grow as a person and as a player after being caught up in anti-Israel controversy during his time at Basel.
Salah was hesitant in travelling to Israel for the second leg, though did eventually go, but refused to shake hands with the Israeli players, instead changing his boots in once instance, and bumping fists with his opponents in the other.
Prior to the game, he was also quoted as telling reporters: “In my thoughts I am going to play in Palestine and not Israel, and I am also going to score and win there. The Zionist flag won’t be shown in the Champions League.” He has since insisted the comments were fictitious and that his actions were a result of external pressures.
However, talking about his new signing, Mourinho said: “It’s not a concern, because we know the club Chelsea is, I know the manager I am,”
“I know that Chelsea’s capable of helping people and making people feel the way we think people should feel, which in football and in life to be open and respectful to every ethnicity, to every religion. People have the right to be what they are. Chelsea as a club and me as a manager we will be more than ready to help him.”
“We analysed the situation, we spoke with the player and his people. The situation put in front of him, aged 20, was not easy to resolve. He tried to find balance, which for us is not enough obviously.
“You know which owner we have, and the variety of players we have too. So this club is a fantastic club to help and to support a young 21-year-old to grow up.”
Anti-discrimination are said to be monitoring the situation.
Salah refusing to shake hands of Maccabi Tel Aviv players: