Georgia elects football star Kaladze mayor of capital

Kakha Kaladze, Georgia’s Vice Prime-Minister gestures at a rally of ruling Georgian Dream party after the parliamentary elections in Tbilisi, Georgia on October 8, 2016. (File photo by Reuters)
Updated 22 October 2017
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Georgia elects football star Kaladze mayor of capital

TBILISI: Georgia announced Sunday that former AC Milan football star Kakha Kaladze had been elected mayor of its capital Tbilisi.
The country’s election administration said on its website that Kaladze won 51 percent of the vote in Saturday’s municipal election.
The 39-year-old played for AC Milan between 2001 and 2010, helping the team to twice win the Champions League. He previously played for Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo Tbilisi and also captained Georgia’s national side.
He quit football in 2012 while playing for Genoa in order to devote himself to politics and campaign alongside billionaire tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili to challenge then-president Mikheil Saakashvili.
He became energy minister in October 2012 after Ivanishvili’s coalition scored a shock parliamentary election victory over Saakashvili’s party.
In July this year, he resigned to run as mayor of the capital, a city of 1.2 million.
In a personal tragedy, his brother was kidnapped in 2001 by abductors who demanded a ransom and took him to a gorge that was a notorious hideout for Chechen separatist rebels. His body was identified five years later.


‘It’s epic’: Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal stars tour incredible Ad Diriyah E Prix venue

Al-Nassr’s Nigerian superstar Ahmed Musa (back right) joins (front left to right) Al-Hilal’s Ali Al-Habsi and Mohammad Jahfali and (back left) Saleh Alweheemed ahead of this weekend’s 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 10 December 2018
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‘It’s epic’: Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal stars tour incredible Ad Diriyah E Prix venue

  • 22 Formula E drivers will battle it out for glory this weekend
  • "I’m very happy to see how Saudi Arabia is becoming a rising name for big sports"

JEDDAH: They may be fierce rivals in the Saudi Pro League, but some of the biggest stars of Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr football got together to tour the venue of one of the most anticipated motor racing events in Saudi history.
The players soaked up the atmosphere as they visited the home of the 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E Prix.
This weekend the 2.495km track created within the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of Ad Diriyah will see 22 Formula E drivers battle it out for glory.
Goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi said: “I’m totally amazed by what they have built here, the track, the grandstands, the hospitality, it’s incredible what they’ve created for the Formula E.  It’s epic.
“As a professional athlete I’m very happy to see how Saudi Arabia is becoming a rising name for big sports, this will be a fiercely fought contest which is sure to thrill the fans.”

 (Left to right) Al Hilal star players Alberto Botia, Abdullah Almaiouf, Mohammad Jahfali, Ali Al-Habsi and Carlos Eduardo visit the new Formula E track at the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of Ad Diriyah. (Photo/Supplied)

The racing extravaganza will also be accompanied by fan zones, entertainment and cultural attractions.
Three nights of music concerts will feature some of the biggest names in world. 
US smash hit OneRepublic and superstar DJ/producer David Guetta will wrap up the event after the race ends on Saturday with Enrique Iglesias, Jason Derulo and Amr Diab performing from Thursday.
Al Nassr’s Nigerian superstar Ahmed Mussa said: “We’re all about entertaining fans and bringing people together, that’s what football and sport is all about. These three nights will be a spectacle like nothing we’ve seen before and I urge our fans to come and be part of history.”