The stage is set for the final of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC)-sponsored Workers’ Cup 2017 today. The fifth edition of the competition will culminate in a contest between two teams involved in SC projects for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.
Favourites Nakheel Landscapes, who upset 2016 champions Taleb Group in the quarter-finals, will take on Al Asmakh Facilities Management at Qatar Sports Club Stadium in Doha.
“It is a matter of great pride for my team and the whole organisation to be in the final of this great competition,” said Nakheel Landscapes coach Sami Majzoub. “Our managing director, Ghassan Oueijan, has attended almost all our matches, which indicates the importance of the tournament for us. I am thankful to the SC and the Qatar Stars League (QSL) for showing their commitment towards the workers of Qatar through this tournament.”
The teams will kick-off at 7:00pm, but thousands of watching football fans will feel the passion long before the whistle, as they hope for another spectacular Workers’ Cup final. The QSL-sponsored competition was decided by penalty shootouts in both 2015 and 2016.
Those watching the action will be anticipating a high-scoring match as both teams have shown a stunning ability to find the back of the net. Al Asmakh Facilities Management recorded an incredible 20-0 win against Al Balagh earlier in the cup, having opened their tournament with an 8-0 victory.
Nakheel Landscapes, who have 3,500 employees and an 18-year record in Qatar’s landscaping sector, also began Workers’ Cup 2017 with an 8-0 win – in front of almost 6,000 fans. However, there have been some closer games for the team since, including a penalty shootout win over 2016 semi-finalists Larsen & Toubro.
The final will be preceded by the third place play-off and the final of the Plate Shield, a knockout tournament for the 16 teams who finished third and fourth in their groups. The 80-match Workers’ Cup was contested by 32 teams this year – eight more than in 2016 – with over 600 football-loving workers from around the world showcasing their football skills. 15 of these teams have a connection with the SC – with four involved in the organisation’s flagship corporate social responsibility programme, Generation Amazing.
The Workers’ Cup has emerged as an integral part of Qatar’s domestic football calendar, with the final day last year on 8 May drawing a crowd of 11,000 to Al Ahli Stadium.
This year’s edition will enter local history books as it included the last football match to be played at the QFA Technical Fields in Al Thumama. The next match in Al Thumama will take place once the locality’s brand new 2022 FIFA World Cup stadium is ready.(SC.qa)
Nakheel Landscapes player celebrates with supporters after their semi-final win. Right: Al Asmakh Facilities Management have scored freely during the group stage of the Workers’ Cup.