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    Thousands turn out for opening of Workers Cup in Qatar

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    All photos by Baba Tamim

    The Qatar Sports Club was abuzz with activity yesterday as teams faced off during the first day of the fourth annual Workers’ Cup.

    Nakheel Landscapes dominated last night’s game against AALCO Group, defeating them 5-0.

    The Workers Cup, which is organized by the Qatar Stars League, consists of 24 teams of blue-collar workers who are involved in building 2022 World Cup stadiums and different infrastructure projects around the country.

    Ten other teams competed at the Qatar Football Association’s technical pitch yesterday.

    According to the event’s website, “prizes in excess of QR100,000 will be distributed to players and fans alike” over the course of the tournament.

    Love of the game

    Speaking to Doha News, many players said the seven-week tournament has given them a chance to revive their love of football and is something to look forward to on weekends.

    Workers Cup 2016
    Workers Cup 2016

    Some, like AALCO team captain Mohammed Sharief, used to play professionally. The 28-year-old told Doha News after last night’s game:

    “When I came to Qatar there was no football for us. I used to play national level football in Pakistan than I had to leave, to work and help my family.”

    Meanwhile, Nakheel’s team captain Ahmad Abdul Haleem said:

    “I am proud for this moment, by the grace of Almighty we will win. I have great hopes and expectation from this team and myself.”

    The 31-year-old Egyptian added: “The game of football should be played with love and we will continue to the play with love at the highest level and pay tribute to our Nakheel.”

    See the full schedule of the games and find out more information about the tournament on its website here.

    Thoughts?

    Shabina S. Khatri
    Shabina S. Khatri is the editor of Doha News. She holds dual bachelor's degrees in Business Administration and Spanish from the University of Michigan, a Masters of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University, has previously taught at NU-Q, and worked for the Wall Street Journal and the Detroit Free Press.

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