Images of Salah and the controversial leader quickly circulated online before the World Cup began, with Kadyrov visibly grasping the hand of the Egypt star as a show of solidarity.
Now, in the wake of the Russian Federation defeat, the Liverpool star has come in for fierce criticism for his association with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
But as he struggled for fitness a picture of Salah walking beside Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov became a major talking point at the World Cup.
The forward is Egypt's star player although he missed their opening World Cup game against Uruguay due to a shoulder problem picked up against Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
The forward scored a penalty in the second game against the hosts, but Hector Cuper's men were beaten both by Russian Federation and Uruguay.
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Kadyrov has since declared Salah to be an honorary citizen of Chechnya in a ceremony with the player.
A supporter of (and supported by) Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin, Kadyrov's global reputation is marred with accusations of human rights violations and reports of extrajudicial killings and torture.
The Liverpool talisman was also captured smiling during a speech from Kadyrov, with Salah reportedly unhappy at being used as a political image and eager to only get involved in topics about football. "I gave Mohamed Salah a copy of the order and a pin at a celebratory dinner that I gave in honour of the Egyptian team".
Salah was honoured during a banquet held to bid farewell to the Egypt squad held at Kadyrov's presidential palace in Grozny on Friday night.
Kadyrov has hit back at such suggestions, telling the BBC: "Everyone has played here, even Maradona at our stadium, but we don't use this kind of thing for politics". I didn't invite Mo Salah or the Egyptian team.