Egypt's football legend Mahmoud El-Khatib wins Ahly chairmanship

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 1 Dec 2017

Egyptian legend Mahmoud El-Khatib “Bebo" (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egyptian football icon Mahmoud "Bebo" El-Khatib has become Ahly's new chairman after soundly defeating incumbent Mahmoud Taher as more than 36,000 members of the general assembly voted on Thursday for new club president and board.

El-Khatib, winner of the 1983 African Player of the Year, received 20,956 votes while his opponent Taher only received 13,182 votes.

All eleven candidates on Bebo's slate for members of the board also carried the day.

El-Khatib and the new board will serve a four-year period.

The 62-year-old has now become the 14th president in the club's history since its establishment in 1907.

Thursday general assembly attracted 36,000 members or double the 18,000 who attended the 2014 meeting which elected Taher.

"I thank Ahly's general assembly members for their support during the election as well as the Ahly fans," El-Khatib told a television programme after the voting finished.

"The responsibility became big for the coming management. We are now responsible for serving the club,"

 "I hope the coming period will be good for the club."

"I expected a huge turnout during the club's general assembly; I thank all of them for attending."

"We will do our best to achieve the club's targets," Bebo said.

El-Khatib, one of the all-time best Ahly and Egypt players, explained during his campaign that he had been asked by "Ahly members and fans" to save the club's "principles".

He remains the only Egyptian to win the African Player of the Year, awarded at the time by French magazine France Football.

El-Khatib inspired Ahly to win a series of domestic and continental trophies in the 1970s and 1980s, including 10 Egyptian league titles, five Egypt Cups, two African Champions Leagues and three African Cup winners. He also helped Egypt win the Africa Cup of Nations in 1986.

He first joined Ahly youth team in 1972, playing 16 seaons before retiring in 1988.

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