Doha, Qatar: The Aspire Embassies Futsal Tournament has entered a decisive phase as competing teams battle it out to stay in the competition. The group stages are now drawing to a close with the quarterfinals due to start this coming Saturday.
In last Thursday’s matches Syria defeated India (20-0), Jordan overcame Mali (3-2), Bosnia defeated South Africa (13-0), Iraq defeated Eritrea (6-5) and Oman triumphed against Japan (12-2).
The group stage matches resumed on Saturday as Spain won against Azerbaijan (5-1), Djibouti overcame France (6-3), Jordan defeated Syria (6-3), Mali triumphed against India (11-2) while Portugal and Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) drew in a hotly contested match (3-3).
Jordan, Bosnia, and the Sultanate of Oman lead groups A, B, and C respectively, while the team from MOFA sits at the top of Group D.
A number of senior members from the country’s various Embassies attended games during the tournament, including Dr. Abdul Sattar Hadi Al-Janabi, Charge d'affaires of the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq, and HE Ali Ibrahim Ahmed, Ambassador of the State of Eritrea to the State of Qatar.
Abdul Sattar Al Janabi praised Aspire Zone Foundation for the well-planned organisation of the tournament and said: “This is the first time that the Iraqi Embassy has participated in this outstanding initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Qatar. It is a great opportunity for our colleagues to step outside of the more formal environment that we’re used to and interact with one another and build stronger ties between each of the Embassies and our colleagues. This is of course part and parcel of what sports diplomacy is all about and demonstrates how it brings countries together.”
Ali Ibrahim Ahmed, Ambassador of the State of Eritrea to Qatar, said: “I would like to extend my gratitude to Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aspire Zone Foundation for making it possible for members of the diplomatic community to have this opportunity to strengthen relations between us and build solidarity among nations. I also thank my colleagues in the diplomatic corps for taking part and making the most of this opportunity to get to know each other better.”