In its continuous efforts to invigorate Egypt’s football scene and to encourage youth to achieve their football goals, ZED for Sports Investment Company announced the formation of a new administrative council for their football team, ZED FC. The council includes some of the country’s most prominent figures and football leaders, with businessman Onsi Sawiris serving as chairman. ZED FC teamed up with eniGma to shed more light on the prestigious new council that is expected to have a lasting impact on ZED FC, and on Egyptian football more generally.
Chairman Onsi Sawiris, the son of business mogul Naguib Sawiris, has an extensive record of his own in business, having worked as executive partner in HOF Capital, where he gained much experience in new technologies, including cloud computing and financial technology. Sawiris has also held administrative positions in various international companies such as Drop Technologies, ItaliaOnline, Riverbank and OPTii Solutions, in addition to his position as CEO of Gemini Holding, where he was tasked to support strategies and implement digital transformation.
A passionate football fan, Sawiris is excited about ZED FC and is looking forward to enhancing opportunities for young people to achieve their dreams in football and in sports, generally. His plans include building a new sports club and the launch of a sports university that will be dedicated to all aspects of sports education.
Outlining the mission of ZED FC’s new council, Sawiris says, “The goals of ZED FC Administrative Council in the coming years is to support emerging talents to help them become the stars of tomorrow, bearing Egypt’s name globally.”
Also on the council is Engineer Hassan Abdou, who boasts a strong management background with a business career spanning more than 30 years in companies in Egypt, Europe and the United States. Abdou previously worked at ExxonMobil and the Boston Consulting Group and later as CEO of Weather Investments, where he played a leading role in the company’s purchase of Wind Telecom, the largest LBO in European history. Abdou sits on various boards and advisory bodies for both corporate and non-profit organisations, including as Trustee of the Cairo American College. He has also been a successful football coach in Cairo’s Youth Soccer League since 2006.
Members of the ZED FC council also include former football player and legend Hazem Emam, nicknamed ‘The Emperor’ during his days on the field. Emam played in the Italian and Dutch leagues, and is a former board member of the Zamalek Club, the Egyptian Football Association and the Egyptian Olympic Committee. Although retired as a player, he is still regarded as a football legend and continues to lend his expertise to better the sport.
Also a member of the council is Haitham Abdelazim, the CEO of Ora Real Estate Development Company. Abdelazim comes with 20 years of experience in marketing, business administration and market research. He spent 11 years in Orascom Telecom Holding, and another nine years in real estate development.
Also on the council is Ahmed Diab, the CEO of ZED Sports Investment Company. Diab has 23 years of executive experience, which include being CEO of Al Saeid National Steel Company and of Liberty Production, as well as CEO of Al Diab Steel and several other companies.
Another renowned former football player and a former Captain of the Egyptian National Team, Ahmed Hassan, is also on the council. Hassan had a huge fan base playing for Al Ahly club, as well as two other football teams. He holds four African Cup titles, and after retiring from the game, has served in several administrative positions in different clubs.
The council also includes a number of sports cadres with long experience in the field, such as sports journalist Seif Zaher, who previously held several administrative positions in Egyptian clubs, was a member of the Egyptian Football Association. Zaher went on to win the award for the Best Sports Media Journalist in Egypt.
Another football legend, Ahmed Hossam Mido, former player of the Zamalek club and the Egyptian National Team, is also a council member. Mido, who played with several international clubs, also held administrative positions in four clubs in Egypt and abroad.
Yet another prominent football player, Emad Meteb, is also a member of the ZED FC council. Meteb has more than 15 years in football, with 10 Egyptian leagues and three African Cup titles to his credit.
Mohamed Fakher, Chief Financial Officer of Ora’s Subsidiaries (ZED Entertainment and ZED Sports Investment) is also a member of the council. Fakher has more than 20 years of experience in management and finance in various industries, including banking, communications and real estate.
Another prominent football player and council member is Mohamed Zidan. Besides having been a major player on Egypt’s National Team, Zidan joined a large number of international clubs, including FC Midtjylland in Denmark and four other clubs in Germany. He also won the Rookie of the Year award during his time with Midtjylland FC in Denmark.
Motivated by a strong desire to nurture the passion for sports among Egyptian youth, and specifically for football, the passion for which is in the DNA of Egyptians, the council placed building a sport complex as its top priority. Unlike any other venue in the country, the complex includes state-of-the-art courts where training by the most qualified experts in sports can take place. The importance of this sports complex is further enhanced by the fact that it targets youth seven to 17 years old, an age group that has never had a space like this dedicated to advancing their sports skills.
Aside from football, the complex will initially also focus on tennis and padel tennis. The inclusion of more sports is in the planning to ensure the participation of more young boys and girls. A program of international tournaments to be held in the complex is also already underway. Regretfully, however, the Women’s Tennis Tournament (WTA), the biggest padel tennis tournament in the world, which was already set to take place there, had to be postponed due to the current pandemic.
As for football, the main pillar of ZED FC, two tournaments have already been organised, including the local Biggest Juniors’ in Egypt Tournament, as well as the international edition of the same tournament. Furthermore, ZED FC currently has four youth teams participating in the Egyptian Premier League. It is expected that next season the number will grow to eight youth teams, and a First Team will be established. Michel Salgado, ZED’s brand ambassador, has also announced that ZED FC will be hosting a tournament at the sports complex later this year.
Most importantly, ZED FC’s pet project, the creation of Egypt’s Dream Team 2030, is progressing apace. Aimed at building Egypt’s future national team, an MOU was signed by ZED FC with Presentation Sports and the Egyptian Football Association (EFA). ZED FC will provide its knowhow and resources to this national project, with the ultimate goal being for this national team to take part in the 2030 World Cup, but more importantly, to make Egyptians proud.