ISF willing to bring five-a-side football world cup to Kingdom

Brazilian football star Ronaldinho, center, and Shahzaib Mehmood Trunkwala, VP, ISF, right, pose with a Pakistani flag in Karachi. (Photo/supplied)
Updated 18 September 2018
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ISF willing to bring five-a-side football world cup to Kingdom

Leisure Leagues (LL), the organizer of the first five-a-side football in Lisbon this year, says it will hold talks with Saudi sports authorities to bring the ISF (International Soccer Federation) world cup to the Kingdom next year.

Speaking to Arab News, Shahzaib Mehmood Trunkwala, vice president of ISF and president of the group that owns Leisure Leagues Pakistan (LLP), said: “The mega event will boost small-sided football in the Kingdom and South Asia through exchanging Saudi and foreign players onto different teams.”

Trunkwala said the forthcoming ISF world cup in Lisbon has won global attention as a large number of football fans are traveling to Portugal.

He said the Trunkwala family has been mentoring youth and promoting a healthier Pakistan for decades. The family plans to bring the Argentine football star Lionel Messi over next year.

“There have been talks between Leisure Leagues and Messi, and it is likely that Pakistani fans will see the world’s greatest star play here next year,” he said, adding that Messi has expressed his desire to bring two teams to play matches in Pakistan.

Last year, the LLP brought several international football players, including Brazilian star Ronaldinho and the Welsh ex-Manchester United ace Ryan Giggs to Pakistan.

The ISF organizes international small-sided football competitions for both national and club teams in the formats of five, six, seven and eight-a-side football.

Founded in 2017 by national operators of five and six-a-side football leagues across Europe and Asia, ISF brings together the expertise of the industry’s leaders to launch the most exciting international small-sided football tournaments in locations across the world.

Any national level organization which runs five, six, seven or eight-a-side football leagues is eligible to register to join the ISF and gain the license to run their national team. Once registered and approved, the licensee becomes the exclusive operator of their country’s national team and the only organization eligible to represent their country in ISF world or continental championships.

The first Socca6 World Cup will take place in 2018 and players wishing to play for their national team can apply online via the national team page for their country. Continental championships will take place from 2019.


Careem honors outstanding captains in Riyadh

Updated 12 December 2018
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Careem honors outstanding captains in Riyadh

Careem held the first edition of its Captain’s Excellence Award Ceremony in Riyadh on Saturday. The event, which will be held annually, was the first-of-its-kind in the region and welcomed over 300 top-performing “captains” (Careem drivers) across the Kingdom. 

The captains were awarded based on different criteria such as: Captains with the highest number of trips, highest (customer-given) ratings and longest serving captains. Rewards were also handed out to captain ambassadors, i.e. those with the highest number of referrals and captains that were given a special shoutout on social media by customers for their dedication to their service. Several rewards were handed out along with the grand prize, a brand new car. 

Abdulla Elyas, chief people officer and co-founder of Careem, opened the event with an ode to the captains in attendance, thanking them for their service and commitment in driving impact through meaningful initiatives across the Kingdom. Some of these initiatives included the vaccination campaign in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, which helped more than 100,000 men, women and children across 17 cities get vaccinated in their own homes. Careem also collaborated with Bupa Arabia during Ramadan this year to donate clothes from customers to people in need, where over 180,000 donations were collected. 

Elyas also announced Careem’s partnership with Alwaleed Philanthropies (AP) in delivering the first installment of cars for the empowerment of people with special needs. The foundation, chaired by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, will provide a number of cars over the course of seven years to men and women of the Society for Physically Disabled Adults (Harakia) after being trained.

“Our captains are the lifeblood of our business and we wanted to celebrate these men and women for helping us achieve our mission of simplifying and improving the lives of people in the Kingdom,” Elyas said. 

“We are proud to have 395,000 ‘captainahs’ (female drivers) and captains registered with us to date in Saudi Arabia, providing over 122 million rides. This ceremony is our small way to thank them for their service and reward them for the hard work they put in every day so that people have a safe way to get around. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today” 

Muaaed Al-Saeed, a representative from the Public Transport Authority (PTA), said: “We are excited to have you all; you have overcome each obstacle you were faced with in a short span of time and for that we are extremely proud.” 

He added: “On this occasion, I convey the regards of PTA President Dr. Rumaih Al-Rumaih. The participation of myself and Majed Al-Zahrani, PTA general manager, is proof of our support to all the captains.”