Making waves in the Australian sporting world, Australian rules football player Bachar Houli for Richmond is the first devout Muslim to play AFL. Born on May 12 1988, Bachar is one of the official Australia Post AFL Multicultural Ambassadors. The TLA Worldwide website, a global sports marketing agency, describes Bachar’s skills as “one of Richmond’s most experienced and reliable defenders.” He can play purely defensive as well as rebound and provide attack for his team.
Bachar has played 170 games in his AFL career. It all started when Houli was drafted by Essendon in 2006 NAB AFL Draft at selection 42 as a Vic Metro under 16 and 18 representative. 2017 was a stand-out year for Houli, playing 21 games across the year and averaging 23.6 disposals and 3.6 tackles a game. As a significant player in Richmond’s 2017 premiership and success, Bachar was recognised as one of the best performers of the Grand Final. Houli has been named an inaugural winner of the Award for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding from the University of South Australia’s Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding. In his ambassador role, The Bachar Houli Cup, an inter-Islamic schools football competition involving Islamic schools across Victoria, as well as the Bachar Houli Academy, were established to nurture young Islamic footballers aspiring to follow in Houli’s footsteps as a footballer and a person.