Posted on March 12, 2016

As part of this year’s Great British Festival Qatar 2016 – which runs from 6 March through 19 March – the third annual HADAF five-a-side schools’ football tournament took place at the world-famous Aspire Zone on Saturday, with the British Ambassador to Qatar awarding the Ambassador’s Cup to the winning team from Doha Secondary Independent School.

Focusing on the promotion of health through fun sporting events,the HADAF five-a-side schools’ tournament took place at the Aspire Academy indoor football pitch and saw a number of football teams from independent and British curriculum schools compete for the trophy.

Supported by the Qatar Football Association (QFA) and Aspire Academy, the tournament was attended by His Excellency Mr. Ajay Sharma, the British Ambassador to Qatar, Ali Homoud Al Naimi, Head of Competitions from the QFA, and Frank Fitzpatrick, Country Director of the British Council in Qatar. The all-day tournament culminated in an intense final match between Doha Secondary Independent School and Doha College, which ultimately saw Doha Secondary Independent School secure the title following a 2-1 victory over Doha College.

Doha Secondary Independent School 1 [].JPG

At an awards ceremony held after the final match, Wajdy Imam Shehada, PE Coordinator, and coach of the winning team, commented: “Today was really great fun and we enjoyed playing on the world-class pitches at Aspire. Thank you to everyone for making this event a success. It was good to win but, more importantly, amazing to see so many people turn out to play the game.”

The British Ambassador to Qatar, His Excellency Mr. Ajay Sharma, commented: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to host the third annual HADAF five-a-side schools ’football tournament this year and, on behalf of the British Embassy, I’d personally like to thank all of the schools for participating with so much enthusiasm. The tournament is another example of the UK’s firm commitment to helping develop a sports culture in Qatar –by providing training in sports facility booking management, referee development and grassroots schools football coaching – as the country continues to make rapid progress towards hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.”

Frank Fitzpatrick, Country Director of the British Council in Qatar, commented: “For the third year running, the tournament has shown that sport is a great way to bring together young people from Qatar, the UK and the rest of the world. In line with the British Council’s objectives to help young people realise their potential, we hope that the local and international schools involved will continue to play football matches against one another on a regular basis.”

Ali Homoud Al Naimi, Head of Competitions from the QFA, said: “QFA is delighted to be the Event Partner of the HADAF Five-a-side Schools’ Tournament for the second consecutive year and congratulates Doha Secondary Independent School on clinching the title this year. Our collaboration with the British Council and Aspire Academy to support the tournament showcases QFA’s commitment to develop the football culture, sports education, sportsmanship and the positive values of the game across all segments of the community.”

Doha Secondary Independent School 2 [].JPG

Ivan Bravo, Director General from Aspire Academy, added: “It is our pleasure to once again partner with the British Council for the second time since we hosted the Research Links event back in February 2014. Today, hosting the British Council HADAF Football tournament final in Aspire Academy is another step ahead to confirm that good relation. It is also reflecting part of the academy mission to promote sport in Qatar and support the sporting movement in the country.”

Now its third year, the Great British Festival Qatar aims to further strengthen cultural ties between Qatar and the UK. The cultural partner of this year’s Great British Festival is Katara Cultural Village, while Qatar Shell, Ezdan Holding Group, Park House Community Initiative and Blue Rubicon Qatar are official sponsors.

Five-person teams from the following six British curriculum schools competed in the annual tournament:

  • Doha College – Evo Team
  • Gulf English School
  • Park House English School
  • International School of London
  • Al Jazeera Academy
  • English Modern School

In addition, five-person teams from the following four independent schools also competed in the tournament:

  • Al Yarmouk Independent School
  • Omar bin Khatab Independent School
  • Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim Independent School
  • Doha Secondary Independent School

For more details about the programme of events, visit the Great British Festival Qatar 2016 Facebook page at, follow the Festival’s Twitter and Instagram channels at @britfestqa, or trackthe conversation through the dedicated hashtag #britfestqa.