Known as the Al Kass International Cup, the competition, for Under-17 players, will be organised by Al Dawri & Al Kass Sports Channel, together with the Qatar Football Association (QFA) and Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF).
The event will be held from January 8 to 17 at the outdoor football pitches at the Aspire Zone in Doha.
“This is going to be the first edition of an annual event that’s set to further contribute to building on the foundations of a proud footballing nation up to the FIFA World Cup 2022 and beyond,” said Issa Bin Abdullah Al Hitmi, General Manager of Al Kass.
The initiative is expected to benefit the global youth football movement as emerging junior teams from top clubs such as Paris Saint Germain (France), Vasco da Gama (Brazil), Juventus (Italy), Ajax Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Barcelona (Spain), Kashima Antlers (Japan), Al Jazira (UAE) and Al Ahly (Egypt) discover new frontiers, build partnerships and make lifelong friendships. Cash awards will be presented to the winners.
ASPIRE Academy will also have two teams, ASPIRE Qatar and ASPIRE International, participating in the tournament.
“Aspire Zone is honoured to be hosting such an innovative tournament to support youth development in football. The ASPIRE Academy has a strong history of hosting visiting youth football teams and the Al Kass International Cup U-17 will give our boys valuable experience. The players on display could be the future stars of world football so we just may see them returning to Qatar in 2022 to play in the FIFA World Cup,” observed Ivan Bravo, Director General of ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence.
“Through the friendships forged during the Al Kass International Cup U-17, clubs will build a lasting relationship and intimacy with Qatar and its beautiful football stadiums leading all the way up to World Cup ’22,” said Hamad Al Mannai, tournament director of the Al Kass International Cup U-17.
“We already know that Qatar is investing in the future of football and Doha is propelling itself as one of the leading sports capitals of the world, and we look forward to having a world-class level of sportsmanship at the tournament,” added Al Mannai.
A number of key sponsors have already signed up to become part of a tournament. These include Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, Qatar National Bank, Fifty One East, Qatar Stars League, q.media, Ritz Carlton Hotel, Mannai Air Travel, QVision,Qatar Airways, The Look Company and Swiss Open Air.