Posted on January 26, 2013

Some of the world’s best youth football teams are set to arrive in Doha for the start of the 2nd edition of the annual Al Kass International Cup U- 18 which will be held from  28 January to 7 February 2013  at Aspire Academy outdoor football pitches, in Aspire Zone.

Paris St Germain will face tough opposition as they look to defend their title with the tournament featuring U- 18 teams from around the world including Real Madrid, Liverpool, Inter Milan and Boca Juniors.

Following the success of the inaugural tournament last year, the 12 teams that will take part will also feature two teams from the Aspire Academy and regional heavyweights Al Nasser from Saudi Arabia, Zamalek from Egypt, Esperance Sportive from Tunisia, Yokohama from Japan and Fluminense from Brazil.

Speaking at the launch of the tournament today, Essa Al-Hetmi, Chairman of the Organising Committee and General Manager of Al Kass Sport Channels said: “We are excited to once again be organising in conjunction with the QFA and Aspire the Al Kass International Cup. This tournament will continue to build on the foundations of a proud football nation and contribute to the development of youth football. We are looking forward to welcoming these youth teams from around the world and enjoying a thrilling football tournament.”

Ivan Bravo, Director General of Aspire Academy added: “Aspire is extremely proud to be hosting some of the best youth teams in the world.  The Al Kass International Cup presents a tremendous opportunity for our Aspire Academy boys to gain valuable experience playing in a competitive tournament environment. It also gives these teams from different part of the world a chance to experience Qatar and develop friendships that will last a lifetime".

The opening match of the tournament will feature Aspire Qatar against English Premier League giants Liverpool from 4.30pm on Monday 28 January. A spectacular opening ceremony will take place from 14:00.

During today’s press conference, Nasser Al-Khater, Director of Communications of Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee said: “The players in this tournament will be 27 and under during the 2022 FIFA World Cup here in Qatar and over the forthcoming couple of weeks that thought is sure to be a source of inspiration on the pitch for the competitors. We hope to see them back here in Qatar in nine years on the World Cup stage.”

Hamad Al-Mannai, Tournament Director said: “The 2013 version of the Al Kass International Cup will take the tournament to another level. This year we will use two pitches simultaneously with grandstand seating available for both. We have also worked with Aspire to install new lighting which will allow for HD broadcast.”

All matches are free for the public to attend with prizes for best banners.

Ward Abdallah, Head of Media and PR for the Organising Committee said: “Once again the tournament will feature live matches throughout the region on Al Kass. There is international interest in the event so we will have an Arabic and English language studio to cater for different audiences."

Al Kass is known for its quality programs, unique production, in-depth coverage and professional analyses making it a top rated sport channel in Qatar and one of the fastest growing sport channels in the Middle East. Aspire Academy is supporting the development of sporting champions in Qatar and encouraging the community to lead a healthy lifestyle.

A number of key sponsors have already signed up to become part of the tournament of Al Kass International U-18’s standing. Qatar National Bank, Intercontinental Hotel Doha, Mannai Air Travel, QVision, Qatar Airways, The Look Company, and Sony are this year edition’s sponsors.