Dubai Sports Council discuss cooperation with Egyptian Al Ahly club
DUBAI (Pakistan Point News - 6th Jan, 202) His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, received Mahmoud El Khatib, one of the biggest stars of Egyptian and African football and the current President of Cairo club Al Ahly, at the Council’s office on Wednesday, in the presence of Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of the Council.
HE Saeed Hareb started off the meeting by congratulating El Khatib on Al Ahly winning the Middle East Club of the Century Award (2001-2020) at the recent Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, as well as for Al Ahly competing strongly with Real Madrid in the Club of the Century (2001-2020) category.
The Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council also lauded Al Ahly for being one of the most successful professional experience in the region and said, “we are proud of the great legacy Al Ahly has created for itself, thanks to the outstanding work at the institutional level as well as at the level of the player and technical staff.
“Their team effort has seen the club win so many local and continental titles, and also many accolades and awards, notably the Best Arab Team award at the 5th Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award in 2013 and the Dubai Globe Soccer Award in 2020, both here in Dubai.”
El Khatib, who was elected president of Al Ahly in 2017, 30 years after hanging up his boots in 1987 following a stellar playing career, thanked the leadership of UAE and its people for their love as well as the fraternal bond between UAE and Egypt, and also for their love and support of Egyptian sports, especially Al Ahly club.
Thanking the UAE and Dubai Sports Council for their hospitality, he added: “The UAE is one of our favourite places. We love to visit the country and to play here, in front of our brothers and sisters from the UAE and Egypt.”
During the meeting, the two parties discussed mutual cooperation and initiatives that could strengthen the existing bonds between UAE and Egypt, as well as between the Council and Al Ahly club.
El Khatib also visited the headquarters of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award along with HE Saeed Hareb, and Nasser Aman Al Rahma, who is the Director of the Awards, and the Egyptian fondly remembered receiving the awards on behalf of Al Ahly from His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the National Olympic Committee and Chairman of the Award, in 2013.
Popularly known as ‘Bibo’, El Khatib was one of the biggest icons of Egypt and African football in the 1970s and 1980s, and was honoured as African Footballer of the Year in 1983. Named as the Arab Sportsman of the 20th century, he was a hugely dominant figure with Al Ahly, winning 10 domestic League titles as well as four Egypt Cup.
Born into a Cairo family of 11 children in 1954, El Khatib, who scored three of his team’s five goals on his Al Ahly debut, also helped build his club’s reputation in Africa by helping them win the first two of their continental titles – the 1982 and 1987 CAF Champions League, which were then known as the African Cup of Champions Clubs – as well as three consecutive African Cup Winners' Cup from 1984 to 1986.
On the international stage, El Khatib was the star as Egypt won the continental crown in 1986 and he also featured at the Olympic Games two years earlier in Los Angeles, where Egypt progressed from a group that included Italy and hosts United States, but lost to eventual champions France in the quarterfinals.
Holder of the dubious honour of sustaining the highest number of injuries in the history of Egyptian football, El Khatib is remembered for his many heroics in an Egypt shirt, including a wonder goal against Algeria in 1980, as well as the time he played with an injured leg against Tunisia in 1977 and scored the winning goal. On another occasion, against Nigeria, he played with a head injury and scored two goals in half an hour – both with his head.
When he retired in 1987, announcing his decision to a stunned and disbelieving media and fans, El Khatib was given one of the fondest farewells in Arab football history, with hooting cars bearing pictures of El Khatib lining the streets of Cairo all the way to the Al Ahly stadium. Fans filled the streets and the stadium as they celebrated a glorious career and the end of a golden chapter in Egyptian football history.