Football craze: Arab diplomats in Pakistan put their best foot forward

Football craze: Arab diplomats in Pakistan put their best foot forward
Tournament during Ramadan titled “The Year of Tolerance Football Championship 2019.” (AN Photo)
Updated 20 May 2019

Football craze: Arab diplomats in Pakistan put their best foot forward

Football craze: Arab diplomats in Pakistan put their best foot forward
  • Several embassies participate in Ramadan tournament
  • Eight teams will play 16 matches, with the final to take place on May 23

ISLAMABAD: Members of nearly all Arab diplomatic missions have found a new way to connect in Islamabad – by playing football after office hours.
Thanks to an ingenious initiative undertaken by the UAE embassy, they partake in a tournament during Ramadan titled “The Year of Tolerance Football Championship 2019.”
Played at a professional scale – with UAE ambassador Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al Zaabi enlisting the services of a FIFA referee – the tournament has become a very popular event, with a total of eight teams, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Sudan, Nigeria, and the UAE, vying for the trophy.
Divided into groups, the teams will play 16 matches before two qualifiers, while the final match is scheduled to take place on May 23. The final will be followed by an award ceremony which will be attended by the ambassadors of various Arab countries.
Arab News gets exclusive access to cover the event. Here’s our correspondent talking to some of the players, coaches and Arab diplomats.