Posted on June 12, 2016

Hundreds of sports enthusiasts flocked to Aspire Zone to take part in the launch of the Ramadan Sports Festival, which got off to a great start with a series of intense and competitive matches in the football, basketball, women’s tennis and staff futsal competitions. Many more sports fans are expected to make their way to Aspire Zone in the coming days for the junior futsal, volleyball, beach soccer, cricket, and table tennis tournaments.

During an intense and competitive start for the football tournament, participants praised the quality of organisation and facilities describing them as being equivalent to what might be found in professional leagues in Europe

In the opening match of the men’s football tournament which takes place on the outdoor warm up track, Aspetar ran out 4-2 winners against Nigeria, securing them the top spot in group A. In group B, Al Shabab team comprehensively defeated Galaticos by 21 goals, taking them to the top of their group. On the second day, Munshat Abdullatif drew 1-1 with Shabab Al Rayyan in group C, while Muaither drew 4-4 with Atletico in group D. The excitement is expected to continue in the coming days as the teams battle it out for the top spot in each group.

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Many of the players expressed their delight at taking part in such a well-run tournament and explained how impressed they were with the organisation. Osama Hshaim from team Aspetar said: “I’ve only been in Qatar for two months and this is the first time I’ve visited Aspire. It is not an exaggeration to compare the quality of the facilities and organisation here with what you might expect to find in a European league. There is also a strong sense of camaraderie between the teams and players. Since arriving in the country, I’ve been made to feel very welcome which has helped me settle in quickly. Taking part in this tournament has a similar feel as if I was playing in a Ramadan tournament back home and I fully expect to make some good friends over the coming days.”

Basketball tournament features a number of free-scoring games ahead of Monday’s semi-final

Eight games took place on the first and second days of the basketball tournament. Highlights included the Doha Ballers defeating Team Syria, 37-13 after dominating in the opening game of the basketball tournament. Elsewhere the Qatar Falcons scored the most of any team with 45 points in their opening game against team Carrefour, and 41 points in their next game against team Tunis. The semi-finals of the basketball tournament will take place on Monday at 9:30PM.

Commenting on his team’s participation in the tournament, Abdou Sow, Coach of the Doha Ballers said: “This is now the fifth year that we have participated in the Ramadan Sports Festival and we regularly take part in the Aspire Jam tournament. The level of organisation and the quality of the tournament just gets better each year. The standard of play and competition gets tougher too, which makes it very exciting. We’re grateful to Aspire Zone Foundation for the continual efforts to promote sports and to provide opportunities for the local community to take part in physical activity throughout the year.”

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In the junior women’s tennis tournament, E N Sarvanti took home the title following a 2-0 win against the other finalist, Mathilde. The tournament proved hugely popular with tennis enthusiasts and featured a number of exciting and intense games. Referee Hussam Arjoun highlighted the quality of the women’s tennis tournament and pointed to the fact that the level of participation was very positive in both the adult and junior categories. He added that the matches were exciting and well organised and thanked Aspire Zone Foundation for making available all that was required to ensure the  tournament was a success.

The Ramadan Sports Festival includes 13 tournaments across 11 different sports including volleyball for men and women, junior futsal, table tennis for players with special needs, beach soccer, cricket and more. The festival is held daily after Taraweeh prayer across Aspire Zone’s various venues and facilities until the 19th of Ramadan (June 24). It involves the participation of 90 teams in a range of different sports.