Practically 75, Egyptian grandfather is soccer’s oldest skilled

Cairo, October 18

Egyptian grandfather Ezzeldin Bahader has been recognised 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 the Guinness World Records on Saturday evening after missing a penalty kick as his team, called 6th October, lost 2-3 to El Ayat Sports club in the Egyptian third division.

The former amateur player, who turns 75 on November 3, scored a goal from the penalty spot in his debut match in 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 Covid-19 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.

The record was previously held by 73-year-old Israeli Isaak Hayik. — Reuters

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