DSCC Press Release Launch

Inspiratus 22/10/2018

Dubai Sports Council Launches Third Season of Dubai Sports Council Football Academies Championship with Expanded Teams and Locations

• Number of teams participating increases to 100 and 2,300 players

Dubai, UAE, October 18, 2018 - Dubai Sports Council announced today the launch of the third season of the Dubai Sports Council Football Academies Championship, which is considered the largest of its kind, and which has expanded this year to include 100 teams and 2,300 players participating. The Championship will be played on the grounds of Al Wasl Club, Shabab Al Ahli and Dubai Sports City, from October 20, 2018 to April 27, 2019.

The announcement was made at a press conference held today at the Dubai Sports Council with the participation of Mr. Ali Omar Ali Omar Al Balooshi, the Director of Sports Development at DSC, Ahmed Salem Al Mahri, Director of DSC’s Department of Academies, Former Real Madrid and Spain star Michel Salgado, Director of Dubai Sports City Football Academy and Hussein Murad, CEO, Inspiratus, the organizers of the DSC Football Academies Championship. The press conference featured an overview of third season, which will extend over 18 weeks with matches played on Saturdays.

Some of the the key participating UAE club and private academies this year include: Shabab Al Ahli Dubai, Al Wasl, the UAE’s women’s team, Dubai City FC, FC Barcelona, AS Roma, LaLiga Academy, Spanish Soccer Schools, TFA, Al Nujoum Academy, Alliance, TFA, Kafo, Abu Dhabi Elite, Just Play, Foxes and Invictus.

Ali Omar Al Balooshi, the Director of Sports Development at DSC, said: “We are very pleased with the success of Dubai Sports Council Football Academies Championship over the last two years, which is witnessing a growing number of teams and players participating every year. This reflects the importance of this Championship, which was our launching pad for attracting private academies in official tournaments, alongside the UAE club academies. We believe this Championship will elevate the level of the game for both for youth in Dubai and the UAE overall.”

Omar added: “Dubai Sports Council works to develop youth football through organizing many programs and tournaments targeting the 8 to 18 age group, with the participation of clubs, football organizations and private academies. These initiatives are considered the foundation for building a new generation of sports talents and provide clubs and national teams with a pipeline of talent that can help increase the UAE’s competitiveness in international tournaments.”

Ahmed Salem Al Mahri, Director of DSC’s Department of Academies, said: “This year’s DSC Championship for Football Academies is attracting a large number of participating teams and players from both private and UAE club academies. This is owing to the success of Championship over the last two years and its growth. This year’s tournament includes 2,300 players from all nationalities and 100 teams, who are competing across 7 age groups: U8, U10, U12, U14, U16, U18 and the newly introduced category of U18 for girls, as part of the Dubai Sports Council’s support for women’s sports development.”

He added:” The DSC Football Academies Championship will run over 18 weeks, starting from October 20, 2018 to April 27, 2019 with over 500 matches to take place at the rate of 50 matches per week. Over 400 referees certified by the UAE FA will oversee the matches, where teams will be competing for the Championship title.”

Michel Salgado praised this Championship: “I am very happy with the launch of the Championship for another season. I would like to thank the Dubai Sports Council for organizing a tournament of this quality and scale and its commitment to ensure the highest standards at all levels to ensure its success. The first season was a challenge for us all, as it was a first of a kind tournament that brings together UAE club academies and private academies. However, the high quality planning and management and making available all the components required for a successful tournament were there: from quality pitches to referee teams and management. This helped to achieve our primary goal which is the develop the level of football at all academies in the UAE and discover talent through organizing tournaments that are played over many months and featuring 100 of matches.”

“So it is important to create a platform where young players get a chance to compete against each other and that’s what this is all about – to develop the local teams, and the skillsets and mindset of local youth to help them become much better football players.”

Salgado, who is one of the brains behind the tournament, added: “I really want to thank Dubai Sports Council for all the sport they have given us in this project.
“But we miss one thing in this country and that is competition - a real challenge every weekend, something that we get easily in Europe.

Hussein Murad, CEO Inspiratus Sports Experience said: “We are very happy to be part of the Dubai Sports Council Football Academies Championship for the first time, and proud to be the organizers of the Championship. We are committed to supporting platforms such as this where our experience will help to deliver a high level tournament and the high level competition that youth footballers need to prepare them to play at national, regional and international standards.”