Members of the Saudi Driving School team, winners of the NAS Futsal Championship, celebrate after receiving the trophy from Sheikh Mansoor.
The seventh edition of the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament — the biggest yet with more than 6,500 participants across 13 events — came to a close on Friday night with Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai International Marine Club, presenting Saudi Driving School with the winner’s trophy following the NAS Futsal Championship final.
Saudi Driving School, winners of the title as Emirates Driving Institute 12 months ago, defended their crown following a tense 2-1 win over three-time winners Fohood Zabeel, with all three goals coming in the first half.
Fohood Zabeel had the consolation of winning three individual awards — Hassan Ali Hassan was named the Best Goalkeeper of the tournament, Jamil Ahmed was adjudged the Best Emirati Player and Williams Oliveira Do Nascimento picked up the Best Foreign Player award. Thiago Tellis Martinez of Al Taher was the tournament’s Top Scorer with 14 goals.
Sheikh Mansoor presented the two finalists and third-placed Dubai Police, and the individual award winners with their medals and trophies at the closing ceremony, in the presence of Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, and Hassan Al Mazrouei, Director of NAS Sports Tournament.
Representatives from all the sponsors of NAS Sports Tournament 2019 - Dubai Duty Free, DP World, Meydan, Al Tayer Motors, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, RTA of Dubai, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Electricity and Water Supply, Arabian Radio Network, Noon and Al Baddad — were also honoured at the closing ceremony.
Congratulating the winners, Mattar Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, thanked Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council for his generous patronage of the NAS Sports Tournament and the sports sector in general.
Tayer also thanked Sheikh Mansoor for gracing the closing ceremony of the tournament.
“Under the guidance and generous patronage of Sheikh Hamdan, the NAS Sports Tournament has emerged as the top community sports events in the country and the region,” said Tayer.
“This year, we increased the number of sports events to 13 from 11 last year, and we saw 6,535 participants belonging to 90 different nationalities compete over the past 18 days, cheered on by more than 50,000 spectators.
“The seventh edition of the NAS Sports Tournament, of course, will be remembered for another milestone - the launch of the Sports Imprint Award, which is a joint initiative of Dubai Sports Council and Watani Al Emarat Foundation, and presented as part of the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament.
“The Sports Imprint Award is an important initiative that seeks encourage and honour individuals or organisations that spread positive values in society through their humanitarian initiatives in the sports sector.
“I would like to congratulate the Organising Committee of the NAS Sports Tournament, chaired by Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, on the success of the Tournament.
“The Organising Committee has successfully implemented the directives of Sheikh Hamdan by bringing athletes and fans of different cultures and nationalities on a single platform that promotes sports and a physically active lifestyle at the community level.”
Thanking the fans who packed the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex and other venues across the city every night, Tournament Director Hassan Al Mazrouei added: “The NAS Sports Tournament is not just a sports tournament but a social or family gathering in the night of this Holy Month of Ramadan.
“Confirmation of that came tonight in the NAS Futsal Championship final. It was an amazing atmosphere and I am sure the fans enjoyed a match that was really worthy of a final. Both teams played at a really high technical level, showing why both of them deserved to be in the finals.
“The prize money — Dhs1 million for the winners and Dhs700,000 for the runners-up — is a huge incentive for the teams to go a win, plus the teams that reach the final do not have to go through qualifying for the following season.”
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