The Aspire Embassies Futsal Tournament concluded Saturday following a tense final between the embassies of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan. The UAE ran out eventual winners, securing the title in the final moments of the match with a 6-3 victory.
The match was attended by Mr. Hilal Al Kuwari, President of Aspire Zone Foundation; HE Mr. Zahi Al Smadi, Ambassador of Jordan to the State of Qatar; Mr. Ham Al Raashedi, Consul at the UAE Embassy in the State of Qatar, Mr. Abdulaziz Al Neima, Assistant Director of the Protocol Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and other representatives of the participating embassies.
From the first minute, it was clear that the final was going to be a closely fought game with both teams demonstrating the level of skill and competitiveness that had enabled them to reach the final.
Jordan opened the scoring early on only for the UAE to equalise moments later. Jordan then took the lead a second time, but once again the UAE equalised. The UAE took the lead shortly after, with the first half ending 3-2.
The second half started strongly and expectation began to build that Jordan might score, which they then proceeded to do drawing level on 3-3.
The enthusiastic crowd played a big part in driving the teams on, loudly cheering their support for the players throughout the game.
The nail biting fight for the title continued until the closing stages of the match, during which the UAE was able to edge ahead with another goal taking the game to 4-3.
The Jordanian team’s efforts to get one back were unsuccessful and the UAE managed to score two further goals in the dying minutes of the match to seal the title.
At the end of the match, Mr. Hilal Al Kuwari, President of Aspire Zone Foundation, awarded the UAE with the title of the tournament, while Mr. Abdulaziz Al Neima, Assistant Director of the Protocol Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded Jordan with the runners up title. Mr. Abdullah Al Khater, Events Manager at Aspire Zone Foundation, awarded Somalia with the third place title.
Commenting on the tournament, Mr. Abdullah Al Khater, Events Manager at Aspire Zone Foundation, said: “The aim of organising such a tournament is to enhance ties between members of the community working in different sectors of the economy. The Aspire Embassies Futsal Tournament and the Aspire Banks League are great examples of this."
He added: “At Aspire Zone Foundation, we are keen to encourage all members of the community to adopt healthy lifestyles through the different programmes of activity we organise year-round. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of this tournament, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the participating embassies and the Qatar Football Association”.
HE Mr. Zahi Al Smadi, Ambassador of Jordan to the State of Qatar, expressed his delight with the organisation of such a tournament involving embassies in Qatar, saying: “We would like to thank Aspire Zone Foundation and the organisers for their efforts in making the tournament a success in every respect, maintaining our very high opinion of the Foundation's activities. Such tournaments are important because they highlight the many positive benefits of taking part, not only related to sport, but also encompassing cultural and social aspects too. We look forward to taking part in the next edition."
Mr. Ham Al Raashedi, Consul at the UAE Embassy in the State of Qatar said: “This tournament is truly unique, as it represents an opportunity for a wide range of employees from embassies in Qatar to practice sport and connect with one another in an informal setting. We are proud of our win, and we would like to thank Aspire Zone Foundation for the great success of this event. We look forward to taking part in such events in the future."
The Aspire Embassies Futsal Tournament kicked off last November featuring the participation of 18 embassies including Saudi Arabia; the United Arab Emirates; Kuwait; Jordan; Syria; France; Portugal; Sri Lanka; Somalia; Russia; Spain, Mexico; the United States of America; Algeria; Tunisia; India; Ethiopia and Kenya.
About Aspire Zone Foundation:
Aspire Zone has grown significantly since its inception as an international sport destination in 2003. The official umbrella, the “Aspire Zone Foundation” (AZF), was established by Emiri decree on 1 January 2008.
The goal of Aspire Zone Foundation is to develop sports champions, promote healthy lifestyle and galvanize the sports economy. All member organizations of AZF have their individual role to play in realizing the AZF Mission. The Aspire Zone umbrella brand currently comprises three strategic member organizations.
Integrated below the strategic members, which are specialized in businesses focusing on various fields such as venues and events management, hospitality, sports education, sports medicine, communication or commerce.
All businesses have been integrated to serve, enhance or perfect AZF in its development to become the worldwide reference in sports excellence.
Aspire Academy established in September 2004 and has developed into one of the world leading elite sport institutes.
Aspetar, the first advanced sports medicine hospital of its kind in the Gulf region and one of the leading in the world commenced its operations in 2007. It has meanwhile achieved a pioneering international reputation and is recognized as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence.
Aspire Logistics is the backbone and custodian of Aspire Zone venues. It manages all venues, as well as international sports events and conferences.