The man who took the controversial video of Liverpool star Mohamed Salah says he did not send it to police.
Rob Wylie, who has a business selling autographed sporting memorabilia, posted a statement on Facebook on Tuesday afternoon “after being subjected to significant harassment and threats… I want to put the record straight and correct a massive amount of lies”.
Salah was seen in the video allegedly checking his phone while driving, which is against UK road laws even if the vehicle is stationary, after Liverpool’s 4-0 win over West Ham on Sunday.
A number of children, and Wylie, approached Salah for his signature on a motorway, but the 26-year-old Egyptian did not roll down his window – instead appearing to look at his phone while in slow-moving traffic.
Since then, a Liverpool spokesperson told the UK press: “The club, after discussion with the player, have made Merseyside Police aware of the footage and the circumstances surrounding its capture.
“We have spoken to the player also and will deal with any follow-up internally. Neither the club or player will be making any further comment on this matter.”
The police force themselves tweeted: “We have been made aware of a video believed to show a footballer using a mobile phone while driving. This has been passed to the relevant department.”
Liverpool fans have come out in support of Salah, and have criticised Wylie for taking the video.
Video going round of Salah refusing to roll down his window to Rob Wylie. Rob Wylie is the reason the club banned autographs from vehicles. He sends kids into traffic to harass players for autographs, takes the stuff and sells it online. Been doing it for years, hence the new ban— LFC Fans Corner (@LFCFansCorner) August 13, 2018
ℹ️ We have been made aware of a video believed to show a footballer using a mobile phone whilst driving. This has been passed to the relevant department. Thanks for letting us know 👍— MerPolCC (@MerPolCC) August 13, 2018
But the man himself, Wylie, said on Tuesday: “I did take the Mo Salah video, but almost everything else that has been posted on social media is a lie. The video was recorded on Facebook Live, so it was posted to Facebook at the same time that it was recorded onto Facebook.
“I occasionally record videos of my attempts to collect the autographs of famous people because many of my friends of Facebook find it interesting. Sometimes I succeed. More often than not, as in this case, I fail.
“At the time of making the recording, I wasn’t really aware that Mo Salah may have been using his phone. When I did become aware of this through others, I deleted the video and post from my Facebook page.
“Unfortunately the video was up on my Facebook account for a period of time before this awareness, and clearly at least one person has saved the video prior to me deleting it.
“I have a lot of followers on social media, and I have no way of knowing who did this and what their motivation was.
“Those claiming that I sent the video to the police because I was angry that Mo did not sign any autographs are liars and guilty of slander.”
Liverpool’s next match is a Premier League clash against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park next Monday (9pm SA time).@ashfakmohamed