Doha, 4 February 2019. The Technical meeting with officials from all 12 teams took place Sunday, February 3, at The Torch hotel, one of the two official accommodation hotels for the tournament with the other one being, Al Aziziya Boutique Hotel. Qatar’s Aspire Academy will add local flavour to the tournament, which was last year won by Paris St. Germain (France), who now hold the record of being the only team winning three titles.
Other participating teams include Real Madrid (Spain), Kashiwa Reysol (Japan), Rangers FC (Scotland), Raja Club Athletic (Morocco), AS Roma (Italy), FC Bayern München (Germany), Altinordu FK (Turkey), Étoile Sportive du Sahel (Tunisia), FC Spartak Moscow (Russia) and Suwon Samsung Bluewings (South Korea).
The 2019 edition of the tournament has a couple of new features. For the first time the video assistant referee (VAR) is going to be used to review decisions made by the head referee with the use of video footage and a headset for communication. For the first time, the tournament will star female referees from all over the world. They are sent by FIFA and use the 2019 Al Kass International Cup as part of their preparations for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup that takes place between the 7th of June and 7th of July 2019 in France.
Mr Ward Abdallah, Member of the Organising Committee of the Al Kass International Cup, said: “We are honoured to welcome some of the world’s top youth teams to Qatar to compete in the eighth Al Kass International Cup – a tournament that grants young players an opportunity to showcase and enhance their football skills.”
The first day of the tournament already offers many highlights: After the opening ceremony, taking place on Pitch 5 of Aspire Academy, the competition starts with the game between last year’s finalists Paris Saint-Germain and Kashiwa Reysol at 4:35pm. In the second match of Day 1, Qatar’s Aspire Academy is facing Raja Club Athletic from Morocco at 6:45pm.
Official tournament sponsor Al Kass TV will broadcast all the games live with both Arabic and English commentary. Live streaming of all the matches will available on http://internationalcup.alkass.net.
Al Kass International Cup: The Vision
Currently celebrating its eighth year, Al Kass International Cup is organised by Al Kass Sports Channels, in collaboration with Aspire Zone Foundation and the Qatar Football Association. The Under-17 football tournament is a global championship for worldwide competitive clubs.
The Al Kass International Cup has established itself as a key international football event that supports the Qatar National Vision 2030 and contributes to building on the foundations of a proud footballing nation up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and beyond.
Inaugurated in 2012, Al Kass International Cup is an annual tournament that provides some of the world’s choice young footballers the opportunity to demonstrate their ability and skills on the world stage. The tournament also aims to contribute to the nurturing of passion for football in Qatar and the region by offering up a 12-day action-packed competition that seeks to propel Qatar to the forefront of sporting excellence and leadership.
Al Kass International Cup: The Winners So Far…
2012: Paris Saint-Germain
2014: Aspire Football Dreams
2015: Paris Saint-Germain
2016: Aspire Football Dreams
2017: Real Madrid
2018: Paris Saint-Germain