Liverpool Football Club fans have embraced Mohamed Salah, an Egyptian player, with a new chant that celebrates the 25-year-old forward’s faith.
“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.”
Salah, 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.
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.
Mo Salah doing more to end the clash of civilisations than anyone else in the world https://t.co/KQIMG2geKA— Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) February 15, 2018
User @Femi_SB said: “Mo Salah is gonna stop Islamophobia.”
mo salah is gonna stop islamophobia— FSB (@Femi_SB) February 14, 2018
“I’m not a Liverpool fan but you must believe Football builds bridges with this Red chant for Mo Salah,” wrote Gbolahan Obisesan, a writer and director.
I’m not a Liverpool fan but you must believe Football builds bridges with this Red chant for Mo Salah ??? https://t.co/yxBvgkpKuL— Gbolahan Obisesan (@GreatObisesan) February 15, 2018
Sam Egerton, a rugby player for Old Elthamians, wrote on Twitter: “Loving this Mo Salah chant. [Love] for Muslims should be amplified.”
Several people joked, as the song does, that they were considering converting to Islam on account of Salah’s talent.
“Mo Salah is so good I’m considering turning Muslim #TheEgyptianKing” joked @bairdy_10.
“I think I’m about 10 Mo Salah goals away from becoming Muslim,” wrote @OSMLFC.
I think I’m about 10 Mo Salah goals away from becoming Muslim lmao— Owen (@OSMLFC) February 15, 2018
“Mo Salah has turned me in to a devout Muslim catch me outside the mosque if you’re looking for me,” said @bradleymaguire_.
Mo Salah has turned me in to a devout Muslim catch me outside the mosque if you’re looking for me— bradley (@bradleymaguire_) February 15, 2018