Former Egyptian Football Association (EFA) chief Samir Zaher died on Tuesday at the age of 74, local media said.
The cause of Zaher’s death was not revealed but he has been battling colon cancer over the past five years.
As an Egyptian FA president, Zaher is hailed by many for engineering sponsorships deal that turned around the fortunes of Egyptian football in the mid 2000s. A wave of money has been pumping in since then, with even small clubs benefiting from the new trend.
He is also credited for a hugely-successful era for the Egyptian national team a decade ago when they won three straight African Nations Cup titles in 2006, 2008 and 2010 when he was also in charge of the EFA.
The Pharaohs also won the 1998 Nations Cup title when Zaher was the EFA chief. He served two spells in charge of the association – from 1996-99 and 2005-2012.
He resigned from his post following Egypt’s worst football tragedy when over 70 Ahly fans were killed after being confronted by rival Masry supporters following the end of an ill-tempered league game in February, 2012.
“Captain Samir Zaher was one of the best people who managed Egyptian football and achieved a lot of success. May his soul rest in peace,” said former Egypt playmaker Hazem Emam, who is now a television football pundit.