The tournament, which will conclude on May 12, will feature 16 teams, including Algeria, Djibouti, Ethiopia, France, India, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Qatar, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Syria and the United Kingdom. The Qatari team will include members from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and two diplomats from each embassy will take part in the competitions. AZF has also lined up its own team of amateur footballers to participate.
Al Anoud al-Misnad, a member of the tournament’s organising committee, said, “AZF brings back the tournament for the second year as per the Embassies’ request, many of whom took part in the first edition. The tournament is organised in line with AZF’s efforts to promote a healthy and active lifestyle among community members of all ages, and to bring everyone together under the name of sports. We wanted to get the embassy employees out of their routine into a relaxed yet active environment. AZF’s participation in this tournament is also part of its efforts to maintain a good level of engagement with various local and international entities around Qatar.”
The draw placed Kenya, Ethiopia, India and Kazakhstan in Group A, while Group B comprises France, Jordan, Sudan and Algeria. Group C has South Africa, Djibouti, Somalia and Qatar, with Group D featuring AZF, Spain, Syria and the UK.
Four matches will be played during the group stage qualifications. After the opening ceremony today, Kenya will take on Ethiopia at 5pm, while India will play Kazakhstan at 6pm. These matches will be followed by France vs Jordan at 7pm and Sudan vs Algeria at 8pm.
Attendance is open to everyone excited to follow the matches and support their country’s representatives.
Speaking after the technical meeting, Daniel Mantini, Political Officer at the British Embassy in Qatar and the UK team representative at the tournament, said, “We enjoyed taking part in the 1st Aspire Embassies Futsal Tournament, including Mr. Ajay Sharma, the British ambassador to Qatar, who competed in almost every match. Many of the British community members attended to cheer us on which made the competition more enjoyable so we’re excited to take part again.”
Samuel Ducroquet, Second Counsellor at the French Embassy, added: “We’re very delighted to be part of this year’s inter-embassy tournament. Our team will be led by our ambassador, Mr. Eric Chevallier who’s very excited to play within the beautiful infrastructure Aspire has to offer. We hope this tournament will be a good opportunity for us to get to know each other more, show some fair play and see how active people in Qatar can be.”
Abdulaziz al-Mansouri of Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said they were excited to take part in the tournament, especially after winning first place in the first edition, adding that they expect to go a long way in the tournament again this year.