Egyptian midfielder Tarek Hamed announces retirement from international football

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 8 Dec 2023

Egyptian midfielder Tarek Hamed, currently playing for Damac FC, has declared his retirement from international football, just a month after being excluded from the Pharaohs' squad for the Sierra Leone 2026 World Cup qualifier.

Tarek Hamed
File photo of Egypt midfielder Tarek Hamed (Ahram)


In a statement posted on his official Twitter account on Friday, Hamed expressed his pride in representing Egypt for a decade.

"I announce my international retirement after a journey that I am proud of. I would like to thank all the technical, managerial, and medical staff I worked with over the years. I wish good luck to all my teammates, and I will return to support and love my country as a fan," Hamed said.

The 35-year-old midfielder, formerly of Zamalek, was one of three players dropped from the Pharaohs' squad ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Sierra Leone last month.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) stated that the decision was made due to their failure to adhere to the team's system and internal rules.

Hamed made 58 appearances for the Egyptian national team as a midfielder, scoring one goal.

He notably participated in the 2018 World Cup and helped Egypt reach the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2017 and 2021.

His last appearance for the national team was in October, coming on as a substitute in a friendly match against Algeria, and then being benched in the game against Djibouti in the World Cup qualifiers.

Egyptian national team coach Rui Vitoria decided to exclude Hamed, along with Emam Ashour and Hussien El-Shahat, from the squad for the World Cup qualifier against Sierra Leone in late November.

Hamed joined Saudi Arabia's Damac during the summer transfer window after parting ways with Ittihad Jeddah.

The tough-tackling midfielder was released by Ittihad following the signings of N'Golo Kante and Fabinho.

Hamed played a crucial role in Ittihad's successful campaign last season, helping them win both the Saudi Pro League and the Saudi Super Cup titles.

Egypt has already secured a place in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), which is scheduled to take place in Cote d'Ivoire in January 2024.

They are currently leading Group A in the African 2026 World Cup qualifiers, having earned a perfect six points from their first two matches.

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