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Former African Hockey Federation President Gamal Shirazi passed away
20 Aug 2007 12:24

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) deeply regrets the passing of Gamal Shirazi from Egypt, former President of the African Hockey Federation and former FIH Executive Board and Council member. He was 80.

Gamal Shirazi was a thoughtful and supportive mentor to all the members of the hockey family and played a key role in the history of African Hockey. He started his hockey career in 1944 as player and became an umpire in 1959. In 1970 he was appointed as International Umpire

Gamal Shirazi was involved in the Egyptian Hockey Federation since 1966 and served as President from 1992 until 1996

Before being elected as President of the African Hockey Federation in 1999, he was Honorary Secretary General (1987-1999) and Assistant Secretary (1983-1987).

Gamal Shirazi’s FIH involvement was also impressive. He entered the FIH in 1977 as member of the FIH Juniors Competition Committee and moved in 1987 to the Equipment Committee. At the end of his term in this FIH Committee in 1992, he became a member of the Development Committee until 1994.

Gamal Shirazi was elected to the FIH Council in 1991 and was re-elected in 1995. From 2000 until he resigned as President of the African Hockey Federation in 2003, he was a member of the FIH Executive Board.

 ‘The African and Global Hockey Family owe a large debt of gratitude for Gamal’s contribution to our sport’, FIH Honorary Secretary General Peter Cohen stated.

Please find below the official message from the African Hockey Federation:

'It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing on Friday, 17th August 2007 of one of the giants of African and Egyptian Hockey, who also had a profound influence on the FIH.

The FIH and the Egyptian Hockey Federation has issued an official statement so I will not repeat it because the CV reflects his magnificent career in hockey.

CVs never tell the full story.  They do not give you the nuances, a full reflection of the true character of the person.  In this case, Gamal was an extra-ordinary person – warm, friendly and kind.  His wisdom and patience in resolving very delicate issues and situations was remarkable.  He was extremely fair and judged his fellow hockey people on their merits, often attracting unfair criticism when he had to balance his massive role in Egyptian hockey with his roles in the AfHF and FIH.

He was a mentor to many players, umpires, technical officials and administrators in Egypt and Africa, no least of whom was Seif Ahmed who ultimate succeeded him a President of the AfHF.

If you peruse his CV you will note that Gamal achieved just about everything possible in hockey whether as player, top umpire, technical official and renowned administrator.  I can recall in one of the elections for the FIH Council he recorded the most votes of any candidate.  This is a mark of the man and the respect he engendered.

It also reflects his popularity and the fact that he made friends throughout the hockey world.  Although I first met Gamal in the 1970’s at FIH meetings in Brussels, I really only learnt of his wonderful qualities when South Africa was readmitted to African Hockey in 1992 when as Hon Secretary General, he and the legendary Hardial Singh, then President of the AfHF, carefully and maturely ensured harmony in African hockey.  His diplomacy and negotiating skills were to come to the fore many times as he, ultimately as President, steered the fortunes of the AfHF successfully and left a legacy of a team of younger administrators that would grow the game in Africa.

When in 2000 Gamal asked me to help edit his “History of the African Hockey Federation” which was published in January 2001”, I fully appreciated this wonderful, warm and kind man and the monumental contribution he made to the game of hockey.

We owe it to him to build upon the foundations he created – we can do no less for such a man and the game he loved!

Gamal, rest in peace – you will not be forgotten.

Seif Ahmed and the AfHF Executive and members salute a great man and extend condolences to Egyptian hockey and the Shirazi family.


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