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El-Gouna football director: 14-year-old Zeyad El-Seheify debut ‘to embarrass EFA’
Zeyad Ahmed El-Seheify, 14, became the youngest Egyptian ever to play an official match after his debut for El-Gouna on Thursday, but his introduction was for more than just football.
Since most of El-Gouna’s players and staff left the team after the club were relegated to Egypt’s second division, including German coach Rainer Zobel, the minnows had to play the Egypt Cup round of 16 tie against Al Ahly with their youth team, which lost 13-0.
After 38 minutes, 14-year-old Zeyad El-Seheify, who is the son of El-Gouna’s football director, Ahmed El-Seheify, came on as their final substitute.
The young El-Gouna player made sure to shake hands with Al Ahly’s stars and exchanged jerseys with Ahmed Fathi at the end of the game. Afterwards, he even admitted that he enjoyed watching Al Ahly score 13 goals against his side.
“I am a fan of Ahly and I was delighted to see their stars on the pitch. They were very nice to me and kept encouraging me throughout the game,” Zeyad said in a televised interview.
“It was a great feeling; that’s why I was happy with each goal they scored, although I also felt sorry for my team,” he added.
However, Zeyad’s participation was not just because a father wanted to see his son playing football, as football director Ahmed El-Seheify said that he intentionally made this move to make the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) look bad.
“We wanted to send a message to the Egyptian FA over the way they are organizing the game in the country. It is total chaos and we wanted to embarrass them,” El-Seheify revealed to TV presenter and former player, Khaled El Ghandour, during his program on TEN channel.
El-Gouna filed a suit with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) complaining against the participation of unqualified Ittihad El-Shorta players.
Zeyad El-Seheify, who was born in 2001, is two years younger than previous record holder for youngest player to participate in an official Egyptian match, Mohamed El-Seyagi, who was 16 when he made his debut with Ghazl El-Mahalla in the sixties.
This game was historic for both sides as Al Ahly recorded a 13-0 victory which is the highest registered in an official football game in Egypt.