Kingdomwide tournaments to uncover football talent

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Saturday 20 March 2010

JEDDAH: A massive four month long six-a-side football tournament is to be held in nine Saudi cities to discover new football talent. The competition is being organized by LeeJam Sports, the company that runs the Kingdom’s Fitness Time sports clubs.

“Football is an obsession for a large number of Saudis and receives widespread attention among all age groups… a large number of young Saudis play football,” said Abdul-Muhsin Hagbani, chairman of the LeeJam Sports’ board.
“The championship is open to people who are over 18. We don’t want to put an age limit. However, Fitness Time membership is required to join the championship, which is free of charge,” said Hagbani.
A study revealed that 82 percent of Fitness Time members play football in addition to other sports such as bodybuilding and aerobics.
Mohammed Sobaih, marketing manager of Fitness Time, said there will be teams representing Riyadh, Jeddah, Madinah, Meshat, Makkah, Tabuk, Hail and Al-Sharqiya.
He added that the winning team — comprising 12 players (six players, five substitutes and one administrator) — will win a five-day holiday to South Africa and attend two World Cup matches.
Registration is open until March 23. The tournament is scheduled for March 25-May 6 and will comprise a total of 490 matches. The matches will be held at Fitness Time football pitches. So far, 150 teams have registered; organizers expect the number to reach 165.
Meanwhile, the company said it hopes to soon open a women’s sports clubs.

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