Major Youth Football Tournament Will Kick Off in Qatar

Nov 01, 2005, 00:00 ET from ASPIRE

    DOHA, Qatar, November 1 /PRNewswire/ --
     - Arsenal, Celtic FC, Ajax Amsterdam, Bayer Leverkusen and FC Barcelona
 Compete With ASPIRE Team as Part of November Event
     - ATTN: Sports and News Editors
     ASPIRE, the Academy for Sports Excellence in Doha, Qatar, is to host a
 major youth soccer tournament as a part of "Spread Your Wings", the November
 sporting event which officially marks the opening of ASPIRE's Sports Dome,
 the world's largest indoor sports dome.
     (Photo: )
     Participating in the tournament are the youth teams of five of Europe's
 football elite - Ajax Amsterdam, Arsenal FC, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Barcelona,
 Celtic FC - who will compete along with the ASPIRE football squad in a
 three-day tournament.
     This will be the region's first youth tournament to feature such high
 profile squads, and many football fans are queuing up to see some of the
 stars of tomorrow compete in Qatar. Many of the young players due to play in
 the event have been tipped as future first team players and all of the
 featured squads have competed in youth football at the highest levels in
     All matches will be open to the public and take place on ASPIRE's outdoor
 football pitches. Entry to the games will be free of charge. The final will
 run on Saturday, November 19, when people will also have the opportunity to
 tour the fantastic new ASPIRE dome.
     For the young student athletes of ASPIRE, the matches represent both a
 significant sporting challenge and an exciting opportunity to play against
 some of the best in the world.
     The ASPIRE squad has already competed successfully in football
 competitions and sporting camps around the world, but the November games will
 provide them with their toughest competition yet.
     Coaches at ASPIRE are confident that the tournament will provide an
 important training opportunity for the student athletes, as well as a
 memorable sporting occasion for the people of Qatar.
     Dr. Andreas Bleicher, Sports Manager at ASPIRE said: "Our aim is to
 develop a pool of talented athletes who are able to compete for a place in
 professional clubs in major leagues around the world. Competitions like this
 Youth Football Tournament will help develop our student athletes and
 ultimately help to progress them towards this goal."
     The tournament forms the centerpiece of the exciting array of events
 lined up for ASPIRE's "Spread Your Wings" event, which aims to celebrate the
 best in sporting achievement. Also running during the event will be a sports
 science conference and a major table tennis competition, along with
 master-classes by sporting legends including Pele and Maradona.
     ASPIRE Football Head Coach, Michael Browne, said: "There is a lot of
 excitement about the forthcoming tournament, both among the student athletes
 of ASPIRE and the wider Qatari public. Football relies upon the passion of
 supporters and the involvement of the local community, so we're hoping for a
 good crowd to cheer on the ASPIRE side in this high level tournament."
     ASPIRE was established to identify, educate and train elite athletes and
 offers the Middle East's most advanced football program for students.
     The Academy is also responsible for the development of the Qatar junior
 national football squads. It starts coaching talented children from the age
 of six with children joining the Academy at the age of 12.
     The 'Spread Your Wings' event will run from November 17 - November 19,
 2005, at the ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence, Qatar.
     Tournament schedule:
     Thu 17th:    Youth Football   10:00am   Ajax Amsterdam vs. Arsenal FC
                                   11:15am   FC Barcelona vs. Bayer Leverkusen
     Fri 18th:    Youth Football   10:00am   Arsenal FC vs. ASPIRE
                                   11:15am   FC Barcelona vs. Celtic FC
                                   03:30pm   Ajax Amsterdam vs. ASPIRE
                                   05:00pm   Bayer Leverkusen vs. Celtic FC
     Sat 19th:    Youth Football   12:00am   5th and 6th Place Match
                                   01:30pm   3rd and 4th Place Match
                                   05:30pm   Final Place Match
     About ASPIRE
     ASPIRE, the Academy for Sports Excellence, is a world-class facility that
 aims to identify, educate and train world-class athletes to compete in
 professional sports at the highest levels. ASPIRE provides exceptional
 facilities, including full educational and recreational facilities, advanced
 dormitories, an amphitheatre, lecture halls, seven outdoor football training
 fields, and state-of-the-art weight rooms and physiotherapy. The Academy is
 distinguished by a philosophy which aims to develop the whole student,
 providing them with full academic and sports development so that they have
 the widest possible range of opportunities in adult life. ASPIRE TODAY,