Arab star Ayoub El-Kaabi lands record move to China

Ayoub El-Kaabi has 11 goals in 12 international appearances. (AFP)
Updated 13 July 2018
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Arab star Ayoub El-Kaabi lands record move to China

LONDON: Ayoub El-Kaabi has become the most expensive player ever from the Moroccan league after landing a record move to Hebei China Fortune.
The 25-year-old has joined the Chinese Super League outfit for a reported fee of $7 million after agreeing a two-and-a-half-year deal with the side managed by former Wales and Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.
Renaissance Berkane will receive 30 percent of any future transfer while El-Kaabi’s hometown club, Racing Casablanca, will receive 25 percent of the transfer fee.
El-Kaabi will join a star-studded Hebei China Fortune side that includes Ezequiel Lavezzi, Javier Mascherano and Gervinho.
“Ayoub had many offers, but we picked up the Hebei offer,” the Moroccan side said on its Facebook page.
El-Kaabi rose to prominence with his nine goals at this year’s African Nations Championship and played in two of Morocco’s group games at the World Cup.


Beach football tournament, key attraction during weekend of sport at NEOM

Updated 45 min 12 sec ago
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Beach football tournament, key attraction during weekend of sport at NEOM

  • The FIFA-approved football tournament will see international teams grapple for glory at the NEOM Beach Soccer Cup
  • The Wakeboard World Cup will also take place at NEOM during the weekend

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s mega city NEOM is hosting an international beach soccer tournament from July 17 to 20 on the lush white beaches of the Red Sea coast.

Running alongside the tournament will also be the 50th Wakeboard World Cup, rugby and tennis in the Gayal region in NEOM.

The FIFA-approved football tournament will see international teams grapple for glory at the NEOM Beach Soccer Cup.

Countries including China and England will compete against Arab teams from Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt in a purpose-built venue, according to a tweet on the official NEOM Twitter page.

This will be the second time a sports event has been held, the first being an extreme adventure sports tournament in April.

The official logo

“The reason we chose extreme adventure sports at the first event in NEOM was because it’s a beautiful environment,” said Jason Harborow, head of NEOM’s future of sport sector.

“Sport is right at the center of what we want to achieve at NEOM, and that means sport for all: male, female, children and athletes with disabilities. NEOM will be for everybody.”

NEOM is being marketed as a tourist destination designed to attract dreamers and elite minds from around the world.

The aim of the mega project is to attract new business and work as an incubator of future technologies, while also acting as a major economic power and a leading center for global investment.

”The team looks forward to the day when NEOM will host a wide range of bold sports to become a world center for sport enthusiasts, thrill seekers and an international sports center that embraces the world’s most important championships in all areas,” said Jason Harborow, head of future sports at NEOM.

The tournament is part of the ongoing effort to promote the sport sector in NEOM and business that comes with it, including encouraging major sporting events to the region.