At 35, Egyptian Esam Abd El Fatah started relatively late as an international referee, but he was quick to get to the top. El Fatah retired because of his age at the end of 2010.
Since 2003 the Egyptian has officiated in the 2004, 2006 and 2010 African Cup of Nations. There were lots of qualifiers and under 20's. But the most important must have been the 2004 Olympic tournament, the final of the AFC Champions League and the mother of all tournaments: the World Cup. He refereed one match in the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.
As usual there was much talk about the competence of 3rd world referees, some argue that non-European referees only take part in large tournaments like the World Cup because the FIFA wants to keep the illusion that really the whole world can come to play.
As if European referees can not be bribed, there were often rumours about the bribability of 3 world refs. Something for which El Fatah seems to be immune (see the did you know section).