Barnsley: Red tape dashes Sam Morsy’s hopes of playing in the African Cup of Nations

Sam Morsy
Sam Morsy
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Barnsley midfielder Sam Morsy has expressed his disappointment over missing out on Egypt’s African Cup of Nations squad due to a technicality.

Morsy, on loan from Championship strugglers Wigan Athletic, failed to make the squad for his country’s last two World Cup qualifiers due to a passport issue.

After getting that sorted, he believed he would be back in contention for the tournament in Gabon, which kicks off on January 14, but a separate issue curtailed his dreams of representing Egypt on the big stage.

In the country the military have to give you exemption forms from duty and they failed to do so in time for Morsy to be selected.

“I’ve been desperately trying to get the papers over the line in the last month,” revealed Morsy, who has scored twice in 10 appearances for the Reds.

“We’ve sorted out the passport issue and then I got a message from the assistant the other day saying that we hadn’t sorted out the military issue in time.

“In Egypt they have to exempt you from the military, so that was really disappointing for me. It’s something that I’ve been really looking forward to.

“I had to miss two World Cup qualifiers as well due to the passport issue, so that got sorted and then there’s another issue.

“It was a kick in the teeth because you know it’s a big opportunity to represent your country.”

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Morsy’s pain is Barnsley’s gain as the Reds have five key Championship fixtures whilst the tournament is on - including derbies against Leeds United and Rotherham United respectively.

And Morsy knows the best way to get back into the Egypt squad, once his paperwork is sorted out, is to perform well for Paul Heckingbottom’s Reds side.

He added: “It’s really disappointing but I’ve just got to keep performing at club level and hopefully when the next fixtures come around I’ll have no issues and I’ll be in the manager’s thoughts.

“You just have to get on with it and move on.

“It gives me motivation to make sure I’m playing well and to make sure the club’s winning games of football.”