University League, a platform for budding talent
Twelve teams to battle for top honours as QFA and Qatar Foundation gear up for this season’s tournament.
The main objective of the University League (UL) football tournament being organised by the Qatar Foundation (QF), in association with the Qatar Football Association (QFA) since 2013-14, has been talent development at the grassroots and youth levels as part of its community engagement.
The organisers are gearing up for the 2019-20 season in full earnest and the technical draw was held at the Multaqa Student Centre in Education City on Thursday.
Tweleve teams, divided into two groups for the preliminary round, will vie for top honours in this year’s tournament to be held at Education City’s Pitch 4 from October 17. Matches will be played on Thursdays and Saturdays. The schedule and fixtures are yet to be finalised.
Khaled Al Rumaihi, Member of the Subsidiary Leagues Committee, QFA, said the UL offered new opportunities to young players who are seriously pursuing academic excellence in Qatar.
“We believe this’s an opportunity for talented youth to showcase their skills. We look at every opportunity for new players to emerge and thereby boost our national team. From that point of view, this’s a very important tournament for us,” said Khaled.
Amy Johnson, QF’s Community Engagement and Operations Project Director, said the UL was part of their activities to create more awareness about health and wellness among the local population.
“The UL is one way of spreading the message of sports, health and wellness. It’s also a part of our activities to ensure community engagement and grassroots development,” said Amy.
She said the QF was exploring the possibilities of throwing the tournament open to teams from outside Qatar in future.
“We certainly want the tournament to grow. And we’ll continue to explore options to do that,” she said.
Hamad Al Shaiba, Sports Programming Specialist, Qatar Foundation, was also present at the draw.
Group A: Georgetown University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Weill Cornell Medical College, Carnegie Mellon University, College of the North Atlantic-Qatar and Qatar University.
Group B: Qatar Aeronautical College, Northwest University, Hamad bin Khalifa University, Ahmed bin Mohammed Military College, Texas A and M University and Academic Bridge Programme.