Mohamed Salah will be sidelined for two months by the shoulder injury he sustained during Liverpool's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid and miss Egypt's World Cup campaign, according to Saudi Arabian sports administrator Turki Al-Sheikh.
Salah was substituted after 30 minutes of Saturday's showpiece encounter in Kiev, having grappled with Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and landed heavily on the turf.
Gareth Bale came off the bench to steal the headlines with a game-changing overhead kick after Sadio Mane cancelled out Karim Benzema's opener – Reds goalkeeper Loris Karius culpable for the latter as he was Bale's second seven minutes from time in a 3-1 Madrid victory.
In his post-match interviews, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp expressed fears Salah would miss Russia 2018, but the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) tweeted a statement claiming there was "optimism" the Premier League Golden Boot winner would be fit for their Group A opener against Uruguay on June 15 after speaking to Liverpool officials.
Al-Sheikh holds a number of administrative roles, including chairman of the Saudi Arabia Sport Authority and president of the Sports Federation of Islamic Solidarity.
Until the end of last week he was an honorary president of Egyptian club Al-Ahly and is understood to have close links to the federation in the North African country.
Al-Sheikh used social media to give a message of support to Salah before the final but, in a Facebook post on Sunday, he claimed the 25-year-old's World Cup dream was over – at odds with the EFA's official line.
خلال المتابعة الهاتفية التي تجريها بعثة المنتخب الوطني في إيطاليا للاطمئنان على حالة محمد صلاح أفاد المسئولون بليفربول أنه تم إجراء الآشعة على كتف صلاح وأظهرت أن الاصابة جزع في أربطة مفصل الكتف وأعرب الدكتور أبو العلا عن تفاؤله بأن يلحق صلاح بمباريات كأس العالم وفق هذا التشخيص .— EFA.eg (@EFA) May 26, 2018
"With great sadness, sadly our great Arab star Mohamed Salah was confirmed in his absence [of] two months to injury, which means that he will miss the World Cup," he said. "We wish him a speedy recovery.
"I think that Liverpool will not allow Salah to take the cortisone because it is dangerous for the player in the long term and will press hard to complete the treatment for two months, which unfortunately means that we will not see the star Mohamed Salah in the World Cup."
Saudi Arabia have also been drawn in Egypt's World Cup group alongside hosts Russia and Al-Sheikh caused controversy in March when, after Salah scored in a friendly versus Portugal, he tweeted to suggest it would be beneficial for the Liverpool favourite to miss the round-robin match against the Gulf state.
"When it comes to Twitter, I speak as fan and not as a minister," he told Four Four Two Arabia when discussing the incident this month.
"When I commented on the Saudi team, it was because of excitement. I may make mistakes and I might be right and I might be harsh in some of the terms I use.
"But when it comes to Mohamed Salah, he's a great Arab player and has allowed us to lift our heads high as Arabs. I am a fan.
"But what I wish is he wouldn't play against our team during that match [at the World Cup]. I want to miss him during this match, just this match."
|Dragons´ Widdop set for Finals return|
|Jamshed found guilty of corruption and banned for 10 years|
|Bennett will not be sacked, insist Broncos|
|Marchisio leaves Juventus|
|The Breakdown: A statistical look at round one of the Rugby Championship|
|Durham sign Bancroft for 2019|
|Wolfsburg to fine Hinds after training no-show|
|Rugby Championship 2018: Team-by-team guide|
|LaLiga 2018-19: Atletico Madrid ready for another title push|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|Mets set franchise record in 20-run victory|
|Poyet threatens to quit after Bordeaux sell Laborde|
|Keys hits 55 winners en route to QFs, Halep claims rain-interrupted match|
|Djokovic-Dimitrov poised as rain wreaks havoc, Del Potro through|
|Tolisso: Pavard to Bayern? I don´t know|
|Ramos: Real Madrid will win again|
|Eagles QB Nick Foles suffers shoulder strain|
|Man City want to dominate English football, warns Walker|
|Golf behind Timberwolves´ draft mishap in 2009? Curry thinks so|
|Puig suspended, Hundley fined for starting Dodgers-Giants brawl|
|Snedeker leads Wyndham Championship with stunning 59|
|Yankees slugger Judge ´frustrated´ with wrist injury|
|Marlins pitcher Urena handed six-game ban for intentionally hitting Acuna|
|Pochettino expects ´toughest season´ yet at Tottenham|
|´You know you are not employing the Pope´ - Diamond has sympathy for Cipriani|
|Khedira still committed to Germany|
|Serena Williams reveals what shook her before worst loss of career|
|Burnley 1 Istanbul Basaksehir 0 (after extra time): Cork cracker sends Burnley through|
|Zenit hit eight in extraordinary Europa League fightback|
|Saints get back to winning ways at Wakefield|
|Giants medical team discovered tumour in Brittan Golden´s mouth|
|Maribor 0 Rangers 0: Gerrard´s men book play-off berth with calm clean sheet|
|Sassuolo reel in Marlon from Barcelona|
|Formula One ´very poor´, says Alonso after quitting|
|Brighton to host Southampton in EFL Cup second round|
|Tiger Woods´ caddie tried to pay heckler to leave Firestone|
|Sordet leads Nordea Masters, Olesen overcomes flight woes|
|Mourinho visits Istanbul Basaksehir before Burnley game|
|Iniesta hails ´worldwide sports legend´ Alonso|
|Onus on Ozil to rise above criticism, says ex-Arsenal star Wright|
|Lahm to head Euro 2024 if Germany wins bid|
|Tennis Australia ´extremely disappointed´ with Davis Cup revamp|
|Snedeker shoots 59 at Wyndham, after bogeying his first hole!|
|Lukaku hints at Belgium retirement after Euro 2020|
|Pellegrini rules out West Ham approach for Toure|
|Association of Spanish Footballers fumes at LaLiga´s US agreement|
|Seibold and Bennett hit out at media speculation|
|Cipriani ´truly sorry´ after pleading guilty to common assault|
|Man City´s Roberts makes Girona loan move|
|Davis Cup revamp passed by two-thirds majority vote|
|Pochettino ready to tackle Man City after Wembley NFL|
|Emery ends Arsenal goalkeeper debate with Cech assurance|
|Shastri: India happy to face Stokes in Nottingham|
|Etzebeth returns for Springboks, Pumas include Figallo|
|Two Serie A matches postponed after Genoa bridge collapse|
|Barrett tight-lipped over Manly future due to ´legal reasons´|
|N´Zonzi is better than Malcom - Monchi takes aim at Barca star|
|Sainz to replace Alonso at McLaren|
|Bayliss encourages Stokes to make public apology|
|Oates hat-trick boosts Broncos´ play-off ambitions|
|Emery needs four transfer windows to impact Arsenal – Wright|
|Spain´s LaLiga plans to play regular-season game in U.S.|
|´Dream come true´ for Robertson to earn Bledisloe Cup start|
|LaLiga match set for USA following groundbreaking Relevent deal|
|FIFA rankings: France number one, Croatia and England soar, Germany and Argentina plummet|
|Hansen hails ´big leader´ Whitelock ahead of 100th cap|
|Cipriani pleads guilty to common assault and resisting arrest|
|PSG snap up Kehrer from Schalke|
|Maitland-Niles facing two months out with broken leg|
|Walker backs City squad strength to overcome De Bruyne blow|