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Mido kicked out of Egypt squad

February 08, 2006 18:30 IST
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Egyptian striker Mido has been kicked out of his country's squad at the African Nations Cup and suspended from the national team for six months following a row with coach Hassan Shehata.

Mido reacted angrily to being substituted in Tuesday's 2-1 semi-final victory over Senegal which put Egypt through to Friday's final against Ivory Coast.

The Egyptian FA has confirmed it has suspended him from playing for the national team for six months and the first match the Tottenham Hotspur striker will miss will be Friday's final in Cairo, the climax of the three-week long competition.

The state-run news agency MENA reported on Wednesday that: "Ahmed Hossam Mido objected to [coach] Hassan Shehata and expressed his anger at his decision to substitute him yesterday ... using unacceptable language with Shehata when he left the pitch."

Samir Zaher, the head of the Egyptian FA called an emergency meeting of his board after the match and they decided to suspend Mido "to re-establish respect for the training structure and to instil discipline," MENA added.

Shehata clearly faced a dilemma following Mido's furious protests on being substituted against Senegal.

Mido scored the opening goal in the tournament for Egypt when they beat Libya 3-0 in the first match of the competition on January 20, but public opinion turned against the 22-year-old striker, who came close to trading blows with Shehata when he was taken off in the 78th minute of the game.

One newspaper headline on Wednesday ran "Mido loses the respect of the nation" while most Egyptians said the player disgraced himself and should be kicked out of the squad.

That decision was duly taken and has left Shehata with only three recognised strikers in his squad, one of whom is 39-year-old warhorse Hossam Hassan.

Egypt are likely to need all the firepower they can muster as they prepare to take on World Cup qualifiers Ivory Coast, who have conceded five goals in as many games.

Three of those came when they fielded a second string side in their final group match against the hosts.

SECOND CHOICE

Hassan, who was in the side which won the last of Egypt's four Nations Cup titles in Burkina Faso eight years ago, appears to be Mido's automatic second choice despite his age.

Hassan was chosen as the replacement when Mido went off with a groin injury against Ivory Coast in the first stage and started the quarter-final against Democratic Republic of Congo when Mido was ruled out altogether.

Hassan missed an open goal against the Ivory Coast but atoned by scoring the second goal in the 4-1 win over the Congolese.

Mido, selected for the anti-doping test, had calmed down when he left the stadium two hours after the end of the match, implying that Shehata had done the right thing.

"They had a lot of chances after I was substituted," he said. "I hope we can win the final, it's very important for us."

 

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Source: REUTERS
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