Dubai Schools Football Cup 2014 set for kick-off
Dubai Sports Council and Inspiratus announced the official kick-off on Saturday January 11 of the inaugural Dubai Schools Football Cup (DSFC), in response to the overwhelming feedback received from schools all around Dubai.
The announcement was made during a press conference at Dubai Sports Council in the presence of Ali Omar, Director of Clubs & Athletic Performance at Dubai Sports Council, Ahmed Abd Alrahman, Head of Health Education & Sports at Dubai Educational Zone, Hussein Murad, CEO, Inspiratus, Michel Salgado, Director of Football, Dubai Sports City Football Academy, Ahmed Sodoudi, Chevrolet Brand Manager at GM, and R Ramakrishnan Sivaram, Senior Vice-President - Head of Retail Assets and Cards Business at Emirates NBD, as well as other officials and invited guests.
The tournament will be played at the Dubai Sports City Football Academy, using its world-class, state-of-the-art facilities, under the expert guidance of Salgado, the Real Madrid and Spain legend, who won 53 caps for his country as well as two Champions League and four La Liga titles as a member of the famed Galacticos.
“Everyone at Dubai Sports City Football Academy is looking forward to the January 11 kick-off as we gear up for an exciting eight-week programme,” said Salgado. “The DSFC will get kids onto the football pitches where they will learn and practice healthy competition while developing their interpersonal skills.”
Khalid Al Zarooni, the President of Dubai Sports City said they were proud to stage such a prestigious event.
“The Dubai Schools Football Cup is all about the future of the sport and we are delighted to host the tournament. We have outstanding facilities and a track record, through our Spanish Soccer Schools programme and past tournaments we have held, of being able to look after large numbers of young players and spectators and the prospect of the tournament is an exciting one. We look forward to welcoming everyone involved to Dubai Sports City for an exciting, enjoyable and entertaining Dubai Schools Football Cup.”
Over 100 teams of girls and boys from 50 schools will compete for the grand prize, an all-expenses paid trip to the UK provided by Cup main sponsor Chevrolet, to attend a Premier League Manchester United game at Old Trafford.
Winners will also participate in a full-day football training clinic provided by Cup Main Sponsor Emirates NBD and delivered by Manchester United coaches.
“As the most popular sport in the world, football instantly touches the hearts of millions, and this includes a generation of young kids from across the world, who call the UAE their home. We are delighted to support the DSFC, which is closely aligned to the Emirates NBD passion for football theme. We also look forward to building on our ongoing strategic partnership with Manchester United, to provide a unique opportunity for the winning team to connect with football’s legends and undergo training with a Manchester United coach," said Sivaram.
“We believe that participating in the DSFC is in line with our ambition to celebrate the best that football has to offer and introduce exceptional opportunities for fans to immerse themselves in the game. It also celebrates a primary value that is very close to Chevrolet, that football can touch lives, provide opportunities and bring positive change to people in Dubai and throughout the world,” said Ahmed Sodoudi, Chevrolet Brand Manager at GM.
The DSFC 2014 is held under the auspices of the Dubai Educational Zone and the Princess Haya Initiative for the Development of Health, Physical Education and School Sports, in partnership with Dubai Sports Council, and is absolutely free to all schools and players.
“The Dubai Schools Football Cup reflects Dubai’s diversity, with football as a platform for cultural exchange, forging new friendships, learning leadership skills, teamwork, responsibility and sportsmanship. What children learn and practice during the tournament will serve them well as they negotiate their teen years all the way through adulthood,” said Ahmed Abd Alrahman, Head of Health Education & Sports at Dubai Educational Zone.
“DSFC was born out of the Dubai Sports Council’s vision of creating a distinguished sporting community in Dubai, paving the way for boys and girls to cultivate and build the basis for athletic talent and healthy lifestyles. We are pleased to find a like-minded partner in Inspiratus equally concerned and committed to the future of our children. The Cup will inspire players to reach their peak performance while encouraging fair play, fellowship and camaraderie,” said Ali Omar, Director of Clubs & Athletic Performance at Dubai Sports Council.
The Dubai Sports City Football Academy along with Inspiratus are organizing the tournament and managing all teams, which are organised in four categories: Boys U10, U12 and Girls U13 and U16.
“Our hope for the DSFC is to get kids from all backgrounds and nationalities playing together and engaging in their shared love of football while developing a healthy lifestyle. Partnering with the Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Educationional Zone and Dubai Sports City to make this a reality has been tremendous. It was necessary for the DSFC 2014 to be free, allowing school students from all curricula and backgrounds the opportunity participate in the tournament, and we thank our main sponsors for their generous contribution, which helped make this possible,” said Hussein Murad, CEO at Inspiratus.
All Dubai Schools Football Cup matches will take place at Dubai Sports City on its 12 Fifa approved pitches. There is a designated area for girls’ matches separate from the boys’ fields in what promises to be a unique tournament and expected to become a popular annual Dubai tradition.