Tue 28-12-2021 20:22 PM
DUBAI, 28th December, 2021 (WAM) -- As part of its strategic partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai, the United Arab Emirates Football Association is bringing together football legends, celebrities, local dignitaries and VIP's who share a passion for the game to organise an exhibition football match at Expo 2020 Dubai on 8 January, 2022.
Four international superstars, Patrice Evra, Michel Salgado, Bacary Sagna and Samir Nasri have been challenged to recruit their own All-Star squads via social media to compete in the game. Each of the four team captains have been tasked with putting together fifteen-strong squads consisting of: -Up to eight footballing icons/legends/celebrities/VIPs.
-Up to three representatives of Expo 2020 pavilions.
-Up to two rising stars.
-Two wildcards (who can include selected members of the public).
-Out of the above, each team should have a minimum of three women.
The event aims to be a highlight in UAE's footballing event calendar, kicking off the new year with some of the most recognisable names and faces in town at the time. The Exhibition Game will be held from 1600-1900 hrs at Expo 2020 Dubai. The event will also feature limited open access to the public visiting Expo 2020.
Collaborating with the UAE FA and Expo 2020 for this unique event are Dubai Tourism, Dubai Cares, Football for Peace, the Dubai Sports Council and Adidas.
The four captains of the All-Star squads are global icons with a history of exceptional sporting success including winning the UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup as well as domestic league tournaments in England, France, Spain and Italy. They have also been star players in some of the world’s most famous football clubs such as Real Madrid, Manchester United and Arsenal.
The concept for the event was based on ideas generated by the leadership of UAE FA which had organised a friendly pick-up match in January 2021 in the build-up to the launch of its 2038 strategy. The UAE FA has since collaborated with a series of strategic partners to bring some of the biggest personalities in the game together.
Mohammed Hazzam Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of the UAE Football Association hailed the event, which kickstarts the UAE football calendar in 2022, as a success story resulting from the partnership between the UAE FA and Expo 2020 established in October.
"The presence of so many football icons and the interest it generates from media and fans under the umbrella of the UAE FA at an iconic setting like Expo 2020 has put UAE football under the global spotlight," said the UAE FA Secretary General, adding that the UAE football governing body constantly pursues partnerships with local and international entities to develop UAE football from a marketing, media and technical perspective in line with the 2038 UAE football strategy. "Initiatives like this, in collaboration with entities like Dubai Cares and ‘Football for Peace’, play an important role in boosting the humanitarian side of the game, which lies at the heart of the UAE FA’s plans," he noted.
Khalfan Belhoul, Chairman of the UAE Football Association’s Strategy & Investment Committee, said he is delighted that this flagship event is being held early in the 2022 Dubai events calendar. The UAE All Stars will leave a legacy of hosting an event that brings the knowledge and expertise of international talent to drive growth in the game across the country, a key focus of UAE FA’s new ‘Vision 2038’. He expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the football legends, event partners and key stakeholders who have worked tirelessly to bring this event to life.
Tareq Ghosheh, Chief Events and Entertainment Officer, Expo 2020, said: "Expo 2020 Dubai is excited to be collaborating with the UAE FA, and host this All-Star event featuring international football legends, celebrities and local dignitaries. "Football speaks to the world in a language that everyone understands. With the power to inspire and unite people from diverse backgrounds, the All-Star event is a perfect addition to Expo 2020’s sports platform, which has been developed with a shared purpose of international cooperation towards a healthier, happier and safer planet."
Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares said: Sports that have tremendous following internationally like football, have the power to serve as global catalysts for positive change. As a Legacy Partner for the Dubai All Stars event, powered by UAE FA, we at Dubai Cares are looking forward to leveraging our network to create meaningful educational and skilling opportunities that will help empower children and youth around the world. Hosting the event at Expo 2020 Dubai will help spread greater awareness about global issues such as education that needs everyone’s urgent attention as we collectively work towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4."
Kashif Siddiqi, Co- Founder of Football for Peace, International Footballer and Football Diplomat, said: "We are delighted to be working with the UAE FA and be part of this very exciting All-Star Event with some fantastic players and individuals. As Legacy Partners, along with Dubai Cares, this event will highlight our collaboration in the region that focuses on empowering young people through the power of football and education. Together with our partners across the region we will work towards delivering several initiatives and campaigns in support of the United Nations SDGs, unlocking the power of football to raise awareness and educate young people. We strongly believe our collaboration can harness this combined power and create a long-lasting positive impact in the region and internationally."