RIYADH: The inaugural Diplomat’s Cup Football Tournament has kicked off in the capital, the latest event in this new era of sporting activities in Saudi Arabia. Diplomatic staff from more than 20 embassies are participating in the historic event, organized by the British Council.
Salman Qureshi of the British Council was the driving force of the international cultural initiative, with assisted by Ziyad Al-Obaidi, the tournament’s head organizer.
Speaking at the opening ceremony held recently, Qureshi said that the event aims to improve relations between the diplomatic communities and support the Kingdom’s plans to expand and diversify all areas of socio-cultural life in line with Vision 2030, through the growth and inclusion of international entities in the Kingdom.
John Pare, the British Council’s deputy director praised the initiative and the support of Sport Times, one of the event partners. The trophy that will be presented to the winners of the tournament was also unveiled during the opening ceremony.
Most of the diplomatic missions taking part in the tournament were represented at the ceremony and expressed their support for such social and cultural events, where people from a variety of national and cultural backgrounds can come together and learn more about each other.
The tournament is being hosted by Al Shabab Club. The participating embassies include the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Germany, France, Austria, South Africa, Senegal, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela, Mauritius, Azerbaijan, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. The British Council has also assembled a team.
The teams have been split into four groups for the first stage, with the top two in each qualifying for the knockout phase. The final and closing ceremony will be held later this month.