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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 September, 2004, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Mido defends himself
By Amr Shaheen
BBC Sport, Cairo

Egypt's Ahmed 'Mido' Hossam in action
Ahmed 'Mido' Hossam has said he'd never turn his back on Egypt

Egypt's controversial star Ahmed 'Mido' Hossam has rejected accusations that he refused to play against Cameroon in Sunday's 2006 World Cup qualifier.

"I would never turn my back on my country," Mido told an Egyptian TV channel.

"I have made many sacrifices for Egypt and I am willing to do more."

Mido was responding to the criticism levelled at him by thousands of fans who packed the Arab Contractors stadium in Cairo for the Cameroon game.

The crowd denounced the striker and said that they did not want him to play for the national team again.

Egypt's Italian boss Marco Tardelli has also said that the player no longer figures in his plans.

His decision came after Mido played for his new club AS Roma in a friendly which took place 24 hours before the Cameroon tie.

"The Roma president called Tardelli and told him that I'm injured, I'm shocked at what is happening," the striker said.

"Our new German boss at Roma, Rudi Voller, asked me to participate in this game.

"But I played only one half because I'm still suffering from a groin injury."

The player also claimed that he would not be fit to participate in a full match for at least another three weeks.

"I'm not a traitor, I'm ready to answer any questions."

Mido is no stranger to controversy and has been involved in disputes with all his coaches, starting with Ronald Koeman at Dutch side Ajax through to Tardelli in the national team.

Mido has not played for Egypt since the African Cup of Nations in Tunisia.

Tardelli is finished with Mido
06 Sep 04  |  African
Egypt's Mido joins AS Roma
01 Sep 04  |  African
Mido out (again)
28 Jun 04  |  African
Mido not wanted by Tardelli
22 May 04  |  African

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