Al Ahly’s midfielder Mohamed Barakat has stuck with his earlier decision to retire despite the recent attempts to convince him to reverse his choice , the club’s football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz said on Sunday.
Several Ahly stars, including Mohamed Abou-Treika, Emad Meteab and Sherif Ekramy vowed not to carry on playing unless the culprits of the Port Said disaster are brought to justice.
Veteran attacking midfielder Barakat went a step further, announcing his retirement from football after witnessing the deadly clashes that left 74 fans killed and scores injured following a league game between Ahly and Masry in Port Said.
“Barakat suffered a lot after the horrific disaster in Port Said. I still consider his decision as an emotional one that was taken in the heat of the moment,” Abdel-Hafiz was quoted as saying by the club’s official website.
“Ahly need Barakat, who is not only a good player but also an icon. I will keep in touch with him and we will not give up hope to convince him to come out of retirement.”
The 35-year-old has been one of Ahly’s most consistent performers since joining in the summer of 2004. He played a key role in steering them to seven league titles and three African Champions League triumphs among other minor accolades.
The former Egyptian international, who won the Nations Cup on home soil in 2006, surprisingly ended his international career in 2009 after Egypt failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_onNkxUKqq0[/youtube]