Kolkata, 25 June 2024
Emami East Bengal FC retains the services of defensive mainstay Hijazi Maher until the end of the 2025-26 season. One of the top-performing defenders in Indian football last season, the 26-year-old Jordanian was adjudged the Best Defender in East Bengal’s victorious Kalinga Super Cup 2024 campaign.

Commenting on Hijazi’s extension, Mr Vibhash Vardhan Agarwal of Emami Group said, “Hijazi has been our defensive mainstay and was instrumental in helping us win the Kalinga Super Cup. More importantly, he understands East Bengal’s rich legacy and loves the club wholeheartedly – qualities that have endeared him to our fans.”

Emami East Bengal FC Head Coach Carles Cuadrat said, “Hijazi has become an important player in our defensive system, achieving incredible numbers in clearances, aerial duels and interceptions. His solidity was one of the prime reasons why we could achieve the best defensive numbers since our entry into the ISL. Hijazi got offers from other clubs, but decided to play for us and help us in our AFC campaign and other important competitions.”

Since joining the Red & Gold Brigade in September last year, Hijazi has so far played 1,938 minutes across 22 matches (17 in the ISL and 5 in the Kalinga Super Cup). The towering left-footed defender recorded fantastic numbers in last season’s Indian Super League, which include the second-highest clearances (99), the second-highest headed clearances (58) and the second-most blocks (22). Besides, his tally of 14 clearances in East Bengal’s away fixture against Mumbai City FC is the record for the most clearances by a player in a single ISL 2023-24 match. In addition to his defensive solidity, Hijazi displayed his scoring prowess by netting two goals in the Kalinga Super Cup.

Thrilled to continue his journey with Emami East Bengal FC, Hijazi said, “East Bengal holds a special place in my heart. I’ve experienced many special moments with this great club and I can feel how much the fans love me. They give me a lot of energy for every game and I always try to make them happy in return. The Kalinga Super Cup was the first trophy I won outside Jordan. We want to scale even greater heights next season. I would like to thank Coach Carles and the Emami East Bengal management for trusting my abilities. I can’t wait to return to Kolkata.”

The player registration is subject to completion of regulatory processes.