Egyptian grandfather becomes world’s oldest football pro

Ezzeldin Bahader, a 74-years-old Egyptian football player of 6th October Club is seen in action during a soccer match against El Ayat Sports Club of Egypt's third division league at the Olympic Stadium in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, Egypt October 17, 2020. Picture taken October 17, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 18 October 2020

Egyptian grandfather becomes world’s oldest football pro

  • Bahader was awarded the title by Guinness World Records on Saturday evening

CAIRO: Egyptian grandfather Ezzeldin Bahader has been recognized as the world’s oldest professional football player after completing a second full match just short of his 75th birthday.
Bahader was awarded the title by Guinness World Records on Saturday evening after missing a penalty kick as his team, 6th October, lost 3-2 to El Ayat Sports club in the Egyptian third division.
The former amateur player, who turns 75 on Nov. 3, scored a goal from the penalty spot in his debut match on March. He planned to play a second 90-minute match the same month to claim his record, but the suspension of sports activities to contain the spread of the coronavirus put his plans on hold.
Bahader had previously told media he was 75, which he attributed to “rounding up.” Having him on the team had allowed 6th October to gain sponsors and publicity, he said.
Some of Bahader’s six grandchildren attended Saturday’s match, chanting “Come on, Grandpa” from the touchline.
“I dream of being able to break my own record one more time, just to make the competition a little harder,” Bahader said, though he is now out of contract.
The record was previously held by 73-year-old Israeli Isaak Hayik.


UEFA bans Qarabag official for life for ‘racist’ Armenia comments

Updated 26 November 2020

UEFA bans Qarabag official for life for ‘racist’ Armenia comments

  • Qarabag’s PR and media manager Nurlan Ibrahimov has been banned for life, by UEFA, from ‘exercising any football-related activity’
  • In a social media post, which was later deleted, Ibrahimov had called for the killing of ‘all the Armenians, old and young, without distinction’

LAUSANNE: UEFA announced on Thursday it has banned for life a staff member of Azerbaijani football club Qarabag for a social media post that showed “racist behavior” and “incidents of a non-sporting nature.”
The side’s PR and media manager Nurlan Ibrahimov, who was provisionally suspended on November 3, was banned for life from “exercising any football-related activity,” said the disciplinary committee in a statement.
UEFA, which runs the game in Europe, will “ask FIFA to extend this ban to the whole world,” and has also fined Qarabag 100,000 euros ($119,000).
In the social media post, which was later deleted, Ibrahimov had called for the killing of “all the Armenians, old and young, without distinction,” according to the Armenian Football Federation (FFA).
The post came amid the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Following the takeover of the region by Armenia in 1993, Qarabag moved to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
They have gone on to become the country’s leading club and appeared in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2017-18.
After losing in the third qualifying round of this season’s competition, Qarabag dropped into the Europa League, in which they are due to host Turkey’s Sivasspor on Thursday.