CAIRO: Mido said he felt offended by the way coach Hassan Shehata excluded him from Egypt s squad for the African Cup of Nations finals in Angola.
The Zamalek man was a surprise absentee from the 23-man squad announced by Shehata on Wednesday for the biennial tournament, which runs from January 10-31.
Local media heavily criticized the 60-year-old boss, who was involved in an infamous touchline row with Mido in the 2006 Nations Cup, for snubbing the towering frontman amid a striking crisis.
Amr Zaki has been already ruled out of the tournament due to injury, leaving Mohamed Zidan as the only experienced striker at Shehata s disposal.
Mido said he respected Shehata s choices but was lost for words to explain why he had not been informed of the decision to omit him.
I knew that I was out of the squad through internet, no one from the team s technical staff phoned me, an angry-looking Mido told reporters on Thursday.
This way is not acceptable for someone of my caliber. They should have informed me of their decision.
Mido, who missed Egypt s triumphant Nations Cup campaign in 2008 due to injury, rubbished reports suggesting that he might announce his retirement from international football.
No one can force me to retire from international football and no decision can affect my self-confidence, he said.
I don t play with the national team for Shehata s sake; I play because I have deep affection for his country.
I will remain as strong as ever, and all people will see what I will do with Zamalek in the second half of the season.
Mido, who has plenty of experience in European football, has hardly made an impact on the international stage since making his Egypt debut in 2001, aged 17.
His spell with the Pharaohs was marred by consistent off-field problems.
Mido scored 19 goals in 51 appearances with the six-time African champions.