du Football Champions’ (duFC), home of the UAE’s official School & Street Cups in partnership with LaLiga, announced today the kick off the 2017-2018 season, with expanded dates. The announcement was made at a press conference held at the Westin Mina Seyahi and attended by Osman Sultan, CEO, EITC, H.E. Saeed Al Tunaiji, Vice President, UAE Football Association, Fernando Sanz General Director, LaLiga for the Middle East and North Africa, Abdulwahed Juma, EVP Brand & Corporate Communications, du, Ms. Ayesha Al Siri, Director of Nutrition & Health Department, Ministry of Education and Hussein Murad, CEO, Inspiratus, the organizers of duFC.
On the heels of a winning season, which saw five of duFC players scouted into the du LaLiga High Performance Centre (HPC) invited for trials at top LaLiga clubs including Malaga CF, UD Almeria and Cadiz FC following a 21-day intensive scouting camp in Spain, duFC has experienced an outpour of interest from schools, female and male football talents across the UAE who are eagerly to secure their spots, in what has become the nation’s largest youth football initiative. Responding to this need, duFC will have expanded tournament days in its third season, to include mid-week dates in each Emirate to accommodate largest participation numbers.
Osman Sultan, CEO, EITC, said: "duFC is our promise to the youth of the UAE to discover every talented football player across the nation and give them the opportunity to play professional football with LaLiga clubs. This platform has already produced talents ready to pursue professional football careers in Europe - a true testament to its success. However, we recognize that nurturing professional football players is a long-term commitment, and together with our partners LaLiga, the sports authorities and education councils of the nation, we are here to invest in the development of youth football in the UAE for the long-run."
"This year, as we celebrate the launch of the third season of duFC, I am delighted to announce a new initiative under the platform. To provide even more players the opportunity to be discovered, even those who are not able to participate in the tournaments, we are launching today the duFC Scouting Camps which will be conducted once a month across the UAE," he added.
On his new role as tournament Director, Fernando Sanz LaLiga, LaLiga Global Ambassador and General Director MENA said: “This platform provides all the youth across the UAE with the most unique opportunity to play football and get discovered. An opportunity to showcase their best in football directly to scouts from LaLiga. I am very excited to kick off the third season as Tournament Director and am certain that this year we will see more participants and many more talents.”
Established as the official Schools and Streets Cups of the nation through strategic partnerships and endorsement from all sports and education authorities across the nation, the platform is the most anticipated youth football tournament on the UAE calendar, attracting an ever-increasing number of boys and girls who love football.
Hussein Murad, CEO of Inspiratus, organisers of the du Football Champions, said: “duFC, in partnership with LaLiga, has been true to its word in the first two seasons, with players not only invited for trials with LaLiga clubs, but also earning professional contracts. We are committed to continue making dreams come true and invite every school both public and private and every football player, both male and female across the nation to participate in du Football Champions for a chance to be discovered by LaLiga. To this end, we have expanded our tournament dates to ensure that every football player in the UAE has the opportunity to participate this season and we look forward to outstanding year of football.”
Hundreds of schools and thousands of youth will compete for the championship and for a once in a lifetime opportunity to be scouted and earn their place on the du LaLiga HPC, to be coached at professional levels 4 times a week in Dubai and earn a place on the team for the 21-day trip to Spain where they will play competitive matches against LaLiga’s best youth football clubs and catch the eyes of LaLiga coaches to earn professional contracts with a top LaLiga club.
The du Football Champions is a nationwide initiative featuring the UAE’s official schools Cup and Streets Cup and is the only international youth football scouting platform. Conducted in partnership with Ministry of Education, KHDA, ADEC, Dubai Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Sharjah Sports Council, it aims to achieve sustainable human development through the discovery of promising talents, who will raise the bar on sports excellence at local and national teams as they become the next generation of professional male and female footballers.
For more information visit www.dufc.ae