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snopes 09 March 2014 03:44 AM

Ars Bandeet
Comment: Ars Bandeet, legendary midfielder for Algeria in the 1970s.

Apparently this is a football/soccer myth that occasionally re-appears on
"funniest football/sports names lists" and such. Here are a few examples:

Ars Bandeet was said to be a midfielder who played for the Algerian
national football team during the 1970s. His name is particularly
(in)famous in the English speaking world because his name basically means
"Arse (ass) bandit", and in the United Kingdom "arse bandit" is a
derogatory slang term for a homosexual.

There has been debate on whether Ars Bandeet was actually a real player or
plain and simple an urban legend. I decided to actually do a little

Perhaps the biggest help in determining this legend was, so a lot of kudos to them for putting a rest
to this once and for all:


I've checked all the line-ups from the 1970s. Unsurprisingly, there was no
"Ars Bandeet" to be found. However, it seems the closest I could find to
an "Ars Bandeet" was a player named Ali Bencheikh. Yes, he was a

He's actually a notable footballer, having finished 19th in the IFFHS'
voting for African Player of the Century back in 2000.

So, it seems that this urban legend may have started by a possible
misspelling or mistranslation, or a mistransliteration of Bencheikh's
name. But in reality, there was no "Ars Bandeet". It seems this was
another case of lost in translation.

Richard W 09 March 2014 12:01 PM

I've not heard the "Ars Bandeet" legend, but that seems like some good research.

SatansHobbit 09 March 2014 05:58 PM

I always liked it when Arsène Wenger had Arshavin at Arsenal.

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