Fathi’s last appearance for Egypt came in November of last year when he captained the Pharaohs in a goalless draw against Comoros in the AFCON qualifiers.
A year later after the return of international football since the COVID-19 outbreak in March, Fathi’s name was not included in Egypt’s squad for their qualifiers in November.
The 35-year-old now revealed that he refused to give up the national team captaincy, hinting that its the reason for his exclusion from the squad.
“I was asked to give up my Egyptian national team captaincy and I refused. What I know is that Ahmed Hegazi and Mohamed Elneny also refused too but I don’t know about Abdullah El-Said.
“I’ve worked hard for the national team for so many years. I told the person who spoke to me about this matter ‘would you have done the same if [Mohamed] Abou-Trika was in my position?’ and he said no.
The veteran defender was also asked about relinquishing the captaincy to Mohamed Salah, where he said: “I don’t want to talk about this.”
It’s worth noting that Fathi’s agent Nader Shawky previously revealed that Fathi was requested to hand over the armband to Salah.