Three football legends, Hazem Emam of Egypt, Mark Fish of South Africa and Angolan Gilberto, have been appointed Ambassadors for the 2018 CAF Interclubs season.
The trio, all past winners of CAF Club Championships and revered across the continent, will be unveiled during the draws for the Group Phase of the Total CAF Champions League and the playoff stage of the Total CAF Confederation Cup on Wednesday in Cairo, Egypt.
According to the CAF media channel, they will also assist in the draw process, which will be televised to millions across the world.
“The three players are no strangers to African club football. They represent various generations and we strongly believe their association with the two competitions will hugely influence our goal of taking the continental club championships to the doorstep of every African and the world at large,” CAF General Secretary Amr Fahmy said.
Hazem Emam –
An iconic figure in Egyptian football, Emam followed in the footsteps of his father, Hamada, and grandfather, Yehia, and ascended to legendary status at Cairo giants, Zamalek. The talented midfielder lifted the CAF Champions League twice with Zamalek, 1996 and 2002, and also the CAF Super Cup in 2003. Amongst the rare breed of Egyptians to have played in Europe after stints with Udinese (Italy) and De Graafschap (Netherland), he spent more than a decade in two spells with Zamalek. A winner of the Africa Cup of Nations in 1998 with the Pharaohs, he currently serves as a member of the CAF Technical and Development Committee.
Mark Fish –
A popular name on the streets of South Africa, Fish is fondly remembered for his exploits with Bafana Bafana during their 1996 Africa Cup of Nations triumph on home soil. However, it was his performance with Orlando Pirates, winning the CAF Champions League in 1995, that brought him to the fore. Pirates beat ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire 3-2 on aggregate becoming the first South Africa team, to lay their hands on the Holy Grail of African club football. Mamelodi Sundowns replicated the feat in 2016. With over 60 caps for South Africa, Fish also donned the colours of Lazio (Italy) and English sides, Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic and Ipswich Town.
Gilberto was one of the most successful foreigners to play in Egypt. His performances during his eight years with Cairo giants, Al Ahly, earned him legendary status. Famed for his swift runs and crosses from the left flanks, he was one of the lieutenants of the Jose Manuel’s Ahly squad of the late 2000’s. He won the CAF Champions League on three occasions – 2005, 2006 and 2008.