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ICLDC’s Eighth Play for Life Football Tournament Kicks Off To Strong Start

22 Mar 2015
Abu Dhabi

Sixteen of Abu Dhabi’s leading organisations experienced a night of closely fought games in Round One of Imperial College London Diabetes Centre’s Play for Life football tournament.

The annual event, now in its eighth year, has again attracted 320 players representing 16 of Abu Dhabi’s leading organisations, including newcomers like Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) who have jumped right behind the event as silver sponsor.

The group stages of the seven-a-side tournament are arranged into four groups of four teams playing matches of 15 minutes each way. Play for Life is staged nightly at Zayed Sports City’s main stadium, with the final on Thursday March 26.

Excitement Reigns As Round One Suggests It’s Anybody’s Cup, Even With Some Goal-less Play

Round one of Play for Life’s annual football tournament saw an exciting night of play, even if goals appeared infrequently. Three games saw one team failing to net, and all other games prising just one goal out of one side.

Injazat were the first team to draw a blank, losing to tournament partner, Cleveland Clinic (0-2). In tandem, ADS netted two goals to Aldar’s one (2-1).

Group D contenders, ADSC and ADNEC had a closely fought first half, with a nil-nil score at the break, turning into a 4-1 win for ADSC.

Meanwhile, on Pitch 2, SEHA also fought a hard second half, to take the match 3-1 from first-timer, the Department of Finance.

In the opening round of Group C, tournament first-timers and silver sponsor, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) played hard and enthusiastically against tournament veteran’s Yahsat but failed to score (0-5).

This was mirrored on the neighbouring pitch, as ECSSR took the game from ICLDC, five goals to nil (5-0).

The last two matches of the day also produced some good play, as defending champions, Takreer, handed out a lesson to tournament stalwart Dolphin Energy, brushing them off by four goals to one (4-1).

The night’s last round of matches also saw Daman overcome Mubadala, as they kicked home three goals to one (3-1).

Tournament official, FIFA-certified Captain Ahmed Al Issawi reminded the crowd that it is not only about the number of goals, but about points. The group stages see each winning team notch up three points and the point leaders over night one, two and three will compete in the Quarter Finals on Wednesday.

There are five trophies again this year - the tournament winner, and one each for best goal scorer, best goal keeper, man of the tournament and fair play. The 60 players representing the three final teams – each team can register up to 20 players - will each receive a Play for Life medal.

EAD's Hamad Al Dhaheri, Deputy Executive Director, Corporate Services confirmed EAD’s endorsement of the tournament and its commitment to making Abu Dhabi and the UAE a healthier place.
"Imperial College London Diabetes Centre's Play for Life is an excellent opportunity for us all to encourage participation in sports and other regular exercise. We are delighted to support it, and play in it," he stated.

Meanwhile, returning team and tournament supporter, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD), as well as Healthpoint have each given a firm 'thumbs up' as joint tournament partners. With Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, the three are part of Mubadala's world-class portfolio of healthcare facilities

Around 2,000 players and 20,000 spectators have taken part in Diabetes-Knowledge-Action's Play for Life's football tournament since it launched in 2008, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.

BOX Bite; see Photo 1
Imperial College London Diabetes Centre’s CEO Bashar Al Ramahi led the players around the stadium in a pre-tournament walk, as well as a pledge towards a healthy lifestyle.

The Pledge To A Healthy Lifestyle Made By 320 Players Representing 16 Abu Dhabi-based Organisations : I offer my full support to ICLDC’s Diabetes-Knowledge-Action campaign, by encouraging myself and those around me to lead a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and a balanced diet. This is my contribution to the good health of myself, my family & friends, and the United Arab Emirates.

"Regular exercise in combination with a balanced diet and a normal body weight is known to help prevent, manage and even reverse diabetes", Al Ramahi concluded.

Play for Life - Football 2015 Schedule:

  • Nightly, from 7pm, March 22-26 2015 at Zayed Sports City
  • 16 teams will be divided into four groups to compete in seven-a-side matches, each of 30 minutes duration.
  • The match schedule is managed in a round-robin format.
  • The final will be played on March 26, with the awarding of:
    • Football 2015 Tournament Trophy
    • Best Goalkeeper
    • Best Player
    • Top Goal Scorer
    • Fair Play
  • See more at:

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