Abu Dhabi, UAE – 20th September, 2010: The countdown to the most anticipated and prestigious club football tournament in the world has started with organisers of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2010 presented by TOYOTA promising another unforgettable tournament while at the same time unveiling an advanced ticketing system.
In the presence of HE Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, President of the UAE’s Football Association, HE Mohammed Ibrahim Al Mahmood, the General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Ko-ichiro Kato, FIFA Head of Club World Cups and Al Wahda FC’s coach Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) introduced five of the seven qualified champion clubs and formally kicked off this showpiece FIFA tournament.
Bringing together the world’s champion clubs once again
This is the second consecutive year Abu Dhabi has hosted the FIFA Club World Cup, which brings together the club champions from the six continents and the UAE domestic league champions as they battle it out for the honour of being named the club world champion.
Five champions have so far booked their place in this year’s all-important club football championship – from as far away as Papua New Guinea where Hekari United made history by becoming the first non-Australian or New Zealand team to win the Oceania O-League to the UEFA Champions FC Internazionale Milano, arguably one of the biggest football powerhouses in Italian football, who will be hoping to continue Europe’s domination of the tournament.
Two teams make a return to the club world cup – CONCACAF champions Pachuca FC from Mexico has already made two appearances since the tournament was launched back in 2000, while the most recent entry is the 2006 club world champion SC Internacional from Brazil who hope to return CONMEBOL to the top of world club football arena.
The UAE domestic league champions Al Wahda FC will carry the hopes of the nation when it makes its international football debut. Two places still need to be filled with Asia and Africa set to find their representative in November.
HE Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, President of the UAE’s Football Association, welcomed the football community to the country, saying:
“This is another great occasion for the UAE Football Association and we are delighted to be able to welcome the FIFA Club World Cup to the UAE for a second time.
“Welcoming the champion clubs from each continent, being able to see world-class players in action, joining fans from around the world at the matches – all of these stimulate interest in the beautiful game. I am confident that this tournament and the activities planned to support will help inspire future generations.”
HE Mohammed Ibrahim Al Mahmood, the General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council brought to everyone’s attention the importance of legacy and cross-community coordination. He said:
“When we welcome sports events and teams to Abu Dhabi, a critical factor for the Sports Council is that each leaves a legacy, that each helps us develop the future. With the initiatives that are being introduced this year, the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2010 will leave that legacy and it will help us build upon the strong passion for the game that exists here in the UAE.
“We’ve seen the growth of football participation rise over the last year and we have no doubt that if we continue to host these types of events it can only enhance the popularity of the sport and encourage spectators to attend domestic league matches.”
Hopes of a nation with Al Wahda FC
Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, coach of Al Wahda FC, who won direct entry into the tournament after winning the UAE Pro League, said his team are looking forward to flying the flag for the host country and the chance to play against champions from around the world.
“We are facing some tough competition during this tournament and regardless of where the teams are from we cannot ever underestimate our opponents. This is a very important tournament for Al Wahda and these players will be playing against some very strong competitors. Our goal is to make this nation proud and show the world that Al Wahda can become a dominant force in this global sport. We are really urging the fans to come out and support the team because this will give the players more purpose to go out and keep on winning.”
Cutting-edge ticketing system introduced
When tickets go on sale tomorrow (September 21) football fans will experience international standards and a much faster and efficient way of purchasing match tickets. For the first time in the UAE, barcode technology and e-tickets will be used for a sports event, making it easy for fans to choose, pay for and print their tickets.
Fans are being urged to purchase their tickets early to ensure they see some of these club champions in action. To make ticket purchasing easy, fans can buy their tickets from www.FIFA.com/uae2010 or through the Call Centre on 800 FLASH (800 35274) or +971 4 366 2288 for international purchases. Once they have purchased their tickets, they can print them off at home whenever they like or alternatively, they can have souvenir tickets delivered to them by courier. Tickets will contain unique barcodes, which will be scanned at the gate, allowing for increased security and management by the organisers.
The stadium seating has been divided into three categories of tickets available to purchase – 1, 2 and 3. The lowest priced seating starts at AED 20 for adults and AED 10 for Children for Matches 1, 2, 3 & 4. For Matches 5 and 6, prices will start at AED 195; and for Matches 7 and 8, they will be AED 295 for category 1 adult tickets.
In keeping with the FIFA Club World Cup’s objective of creating a family-friendly tournament, there will be discounted family tickets within each category, for all matches.
Ko-ichiro Kato, FIFA Head of Club World Cups, commented:
“The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2010 will showcase once again international club football at the very highest level.
“Some of the world’s leading clubs have won this tournament, which is the only time in the sporting calendar that the champions of club football from every continent come together to compete for the ultimate glory in club football.
“The UAE is a passionate sporting nation and we have every confidence this is going to be another tournament to remember, especially taking into account the co-operation and professionalism of the Local Organising Committee.”
“Choose Your Champion” unveiled and exciting entertainment programme planned
The “Choose Your Champion” campaign was unveiled, profiling the unique personality and character of each participating club. The campaign will also spark a national hunt to find the biggest fans of each club living in the UAE.
Tournament organizers also announced an exciting entertainment programme for fans and the whole community to enjoy as the nation builds up to this historic football event
The community-wide activities are planned to engage all ages and backgrounds from schools and Universities, malls and cinemas, through to the Football Village on the Corniche and Fan Zones at the stadiums the plans around the 2010 tournament are extensive.
The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2010 is the last chance local residents will get to see such a prestigious tournament played at two world-class venues before the event returns to Japan in 2011/2012.
In recognition of Visa’s valued sponsorship, FIFA prefers Visa.
Photo caption: Launching the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2010 at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sport City today were (l-r) Al Wahda FC’s coach Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, HE Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, President of the UAE’s Football Association, Ko-ichiro Kato, FIFA Head of Club World Cups and HE Mohammed Ibrahim Al Mahmood, the General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council
FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2010 Presented by TOYOTA
The FIFA Club World Cup is the most prestigious tournament in international club football, bringing together the best club sides from each of the six continental confederations: Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America and Oceania, as well as the 2010 winner of the UFL. Played annually, the winning team is crowned Club World Champion, a title currently held by FC Barcelona.
In 2009 and 2010, the tournament will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates, a nation with a deep passion for football. This year marks the final year of competition in Abu Dhabi before the tournament returns to Japan in 2011.
From the 8th-18th December 2010, seven teams will compete over the course of eight matches for a prize fund of 16.5 million USD, with the champions earning 5 million USD. In addition to world-class football, there will be activities and entertainment for the entire community to enjoy throughout the tournament.
For more information visit: www.FIFA.com/uae2010
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