Posted on March 31, 2018

Lebanon has won the title of the sixth Asian Communities Football Tournament (ACFT) after defeating India in a penalty-shootout (4-3) after the match ended in a draw of 1-1. This is the second time Lebanon lifts the ACFT trophy. It won its’ first title ever back in 2015.

Thousands of fans enjoyed the final match which took place in Al Arabi Stadium on Friday 30 March. An award ceremony was held to honour the first, second, and third place teams, along with the match commissioner, and Qatar Football Association (QFA) referees who officiated the matches of the tournament. Lebanon lifted the champions trophy and received a cash prize of 15,000 Qatari Riyals, while India and Jordan received cash prizes of 10,000 Qatari Riyals and 5000 Qatari Riyals respectively.

Lebanon wins title of 1 [].jpg

A special cash prize of 5,000 Qatari Riyals and trophy were awarded to Hussein Mansour, top scorer of the tournament. Other special prizes included giving trophies to the best player, Mohamed Al Saghir, best coach, Ali Koteish and best goalkeeper, Ali Krayem. This year, a trophy was given to the Indian Community Leader, Nilangshu Dey, who represented the Indian community fan base, who were chosen as the best community fan base in the tournament.

The final match and closing ceremony were attended by H.E. Hasan Najem Ambassador of Lebanon to Qatar and Indian Community Leader and President of the Indian Sports Centre, Nilangshu Dey. The final match was also attended by Hani Ballan, QFA Board Member, Hilal Al Mohannadi, Chairman of the Sub-Leagues Committee at QFA, and Khalid Al Jumaily, Community Engagement Manager at the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.

Hilal Al Mohannadi, Chairman of the Sub-Leagues Committee at the QFA said: “I would like to congratulate Lebanon on winning the title of this year’s Asian Communities Football Tournament, they deserved the win. We are very happy with the turnout of fans to the final as it demonstrates the football passion in Qatar. The ACFT demonstrates QFA’s objective which is to organise a tournament that acts as an effective tool to help support integration and positive community engagement amongst the various communities in Qatar through football.” He added: “We thank our partners for their ongoing support which started in 2013, their support is valuable for the ACFT and it also provides a unique opportunity for community teams to take part in this significant tournament while allowing the teams to display their talents and love for football.”

Khalid Al Jumaily, Community Engagement Manager at the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy said: “I would like to congratulate Lebanon on winning first place tonight, and I would also like to congratulate India on earning second place in the tournament. India played really well throughout the match, however, Lebanon were determined to win this edition, and were keen on not repeating what happened in last year’s final, which was to lose against Jordan.

He added: “We are happy to sponsor the ACFT once again as we consider it to be a tournament that successfully spreads the culture of football in Qatar, and also encourages the various communities to lead a healthy lifestyle through playing football. Lebanon and Jordan communities have a big passion for football and their teams possess incredible football skills.”

Lebanon wins title of 2 [].jpg

The sixth ACFT is sponsored by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy as the official strategic partner, Nike as the official supplier, and Al Kass Sports Channels as the official broadcaster. Organised by the QFA, the ACFT is a community tournament which brings together various Asian communities residing in Qatar to display their football passion on the field, and encourages them to play more football in a fun competitive environment. The 12-team tournament this year was played from 11 January to 30 March, and matches were played in Al Gharafa Stadium, Al Markhiya Sports Club, Doha Stadium, and Al Arabi Stadium. Matches are played on Thursdays and Fridays to allow the community teams to take part in the fun-packed tournament during the weekend.

The teams participating this year include Jordan, India, Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Korea Republic, Singapore, Japan, Lebanon, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Nepal. The tournament this year followed the traditional format of twelve teams being split into two groups of six where they played group stage matches, followed with the top four teams of each group qualifying for the knockout stage. The ACFT was launched in sports season 2012-2013 and witnessed the participation of six teams in the first edition. In its’ first edition, the tournament saw huge success and as a result, the following editions witnessed a big increase in the number of participating teams as more communities expressed huge interest in being part of the exciting community tournament.