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Egyptian, 75, Becomes World’s Oldest Soccer Pro

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Egyptian grandfather Ezzeldin Bahader has been recognised as the world’s oldest professional soccer 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 FC, 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 FC 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.

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Limited Number of Fans to attend CAF Champions League Final

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has given the thumbs up for fans to attend the CAF Champions League final between Egyptian giants Zamalek and Al Ahly, according to a board member of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) Mohamed Fadl.

The final is set for the 27th of November at the Cairo International Stadium, and there were doubts earlier about the attendance of fans on the day amid the coronavirus crisis.

“We contacted CAF regarding fans’ attendance and we got the official approval today,” Fadl told a local TV channel late on Sunday.

“CAF agreed to allow from 5,000 to 10,000 supporters to attend in the stands amid applying all precautionary measures.

“Security authorities will make the final decision within 48 hours and if we got the approval work will start immediately to arrange stadium’s entries and ensure intervals between supporters,” he added.

Zamalek qualified for the final by beating Moroccan side Raja Casablanca with a 4-1 aggregate victory, while Al Ahly got to the final with a victory over another Casablanca based side, Wydad 5-1 on aggregate.

Al Ahly a looking to extend their Champions League record with their ninth title, and their first since 2013. For Zamalek they have won the CAF Champions League five times and re are looking to win the title for the first time since 2002.

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Egypt’s El-Hadary Dismisses Links of Him Coming Out of Retirement

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Essam El-Hadary

Legendary Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary insists he would not be coming out of retirement at any time.

The goalkeeping legend ended his footballing career after a short stint with former Egyptian Premier League side Nogoom FC.

There have been reports in the media suggesting that El-Hadary would come out of retirement to represent Egyptian fourth-tier side ZED FC, but El-Hadary on twitter stated that he has officially retired from the sport and has his focus now on coaching.

“I won’t join any club and all these rumours are completely false. I took many courses in Europe and trial periods with some world-class teams. And now, thanks to your support, I’m ready to start my coaching career,” El-Hadary tweeted.

“I want to thank my fellow teammates, whom I shared the pitch with throughout the generations. I also would like to thank every coach I’ve worked with as well as the administration and medical staff.

“And to all the workers, whom I consider brothers, who helped me throughout my career. And a special thanks to my country, Egypt. I hope to one day to close the curtain on my footballing career and look back with no regrets.”

The former Al Ahly, Sion and Zamalek goalkeeper began his professional career with Damietta in 1993, and spent 12 years with Al Ahly between 1996 and 2008 where he won 21 titles.

With the Egyptian national team, he made his debut in 1996, and went on to feature in 159 games. In that time, he won four Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) titles, and got to the final in 2017 in Gabon.

El- Hadary made his FIFA World Cup debut in Volgograd, Russia where Egypt faced Saudi Arabia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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North Africa Sports

Egypt’s Salah, Elneny Test Positive For COVID-19 Again

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Egyptian football players, Mohamed Salah and Mohamed Elneny, on Wednesday, tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.

It is the second time both players, who ply their trade in the English Premier League, would test positive for the disease. The Liverpool striker had previously tested positive for the coronavirus last Friday, on the eve of Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Togo while Elneny tested positive three days later.

Liverpool striker Salah, who is the joint leading scorer in the Premier League this season with eight goals, will miss the visit from league leaders Leicester City on Sunday and is also likely to be ruled out of Liverpool’s Champions League game against Atalanta next Wednesday.

Arsenal midfielder Elneny is expected to miss Arsenal’s trip to Leeds United on Sunday and their Europa League clash at Molde on Nov 26.

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