CAIRO – Sports legends and media from around the world have praised the debut 2015 SATUC Cup, brainchild of the young philanthropist Sheikha Al-Thani.
The success of the Cairo tournament, commentators have said, has marked a bold new departure for the charitable endeavour, dedicated to improving the lives of some of the world’s least privileged children.
The eight-nation SATUC Cup tournament, which took place in the Egyptian capital between 27 August and 3 September, involved over 80 players and administrators from eight different countries. It was won by the host nation Egypt, who defeated finalists Cote D’Ivoire 5-2 in a thrilling contest at the Cairo Indoor Stadium on September 1 September. The award of the cup, by Sheikha Al-Thani herself, prompted ecstatic celebrations from local spectators, which continued long into the evening.
Princess Sheikha said: “Thanks to the dedication and sportsmanship of the children, and the hard work of the team coaches and of all our organisers and volunteers, the 2015 SATUC World Cup has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.”
“We have proved that the concept of bringing children together in friendship and endeavour through the universal power of competitive football, we can create something special, an experience that will inspire these children throughout their lives. We at SATUC are already hard at work at building on the success of the event to create an even more ambitious SATUC Cup for 2017.”
Sheikha – who spoke during the contest on the value of international friendship and co-operation – also praised the support of the event sponsors, the Fairmont Hotel, which hosted the teams, and Egypt’s national carrier Egypt Air which helped ensure the smooth running of the complex transport and logistics arrangements that made the event possible, and the main media backer Alyoum 7 (Al-Youm Al-Sabi’). She also gave heartfelt thanks to the Egyptian Government’s Ministry of Youth and Sport, the staff of the Cairo National Stadium, and the Cairo Police, who helped ensure that the tournament could take place in an atmosphere of safety and security.
Abd El Badi, the coach of the victorious Egyptian team praised the standard of soccer on display and the sportsmanship of the other competitors, adding: “I do believe the SATUC organization has taken a leading role in taking care of unprivileged children and holding this great sports event.”
The debut event, which involved teams from Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, the Philippines, the UK, Cote D’Ivoire and Mauritania, began on 27 September when the teams assembled in Cairo. The 14-15 year-old participants, many of whom had never travelled abroad before, were accommodated with style in the Fairmont Heliopolis Towers Hotel, where they received delicious daily meals, and high standards of all-round care. SATUC also provided packed meals to the players and staff, providing the teams with the energy levels that allowed them to give their best on the field.
As well as a top flight of international soccer referees and coaches, The SATUC Cup was also supported by a stellar line up of event Ambassadors, including President Hassan Shehata and Ahmed Hassan. The SATUC ideal has attracted a galaxy of event Ambassadors, all of them legends of the “beautiful game”: Ahmed Shobair, Shawky Gharib, Jorge Luis Pinto, Nader El Sayid, Ali Al-Habsi, Ahmad Hayel, Carlo Cudici, Rabah Madjer, Ahmed Elmohamadi, Aziz Bouderbala, Hady Khashaba, Hazem Emam, Emad Moteab, Emad Al Nahhas, Ahmed Elmohamadi, Shikabala, Magdy Abdel Ati, Aboulaye Traore, Osama Hosny, Haitham Mustafa, Hani Al-Dhabit, Khaled Al Fadhli, Fuad Anwar, Bashar Abdullah, Firas Al Khatib, Akram Nashat and Sami Al-Jaber, many of whom were present and all of whom supported the event.
Other celebrities present included the Colombian Royal Ballet superstar Fernando Montano, who acts as a SATUC Ambassador and fund-raiser. SATUC has also been privileged to have attracted the support of other VIPs from outside of the world of soccer, including the actress Ragaa El-Geldani, beauty queen Yara Naoum, singer Samira Saeed and Egyptian Sports Minister El Amry Farouk.
The SATUC Ambassadors who were present at the event provided important training tips and encouragement to their teams, and cheered on the hard-fought matches The event also featured a good-humoured veterans and celebrities match between the Ambassadors in which Sheikha Al Thani participated.
Other highlights of the event included an international press conference in front of representatives of Cairo’s diplomatic corps and other VIPs, a spectacular opening ceremony, and the climax of the event, the award of the SATUC Cup itself, along with cups and trophies for all participants and prominent supporters.
Following the football, the participants were also treated to a sightseeing tour of the Pyramids of Giza, an awe-inspiring experience for the boys, that, as with memories of the matches themselves, they are likely to carry with them for the rest of their lives.
SATUC’s founder Sheikha Al-Thani (16) has been a global campaigner against child poverty since childhood. She onceived the idea of a tournament after noticing how kids with few advantages in their lives, were inspired to do their best while competing on the soccer pitch.
Sheikha, who has resumed her studies for her A-Level exams in London as well as working on the next SATUC Cup added: “Coming from a privileged background myself, I long ago realised that this privilege meant nothing to me unless it was shared with others. Through the realisation of the SATUC Cup ideal, the charity has taken a major step towards establishing a unique model of charitable endeavour with a truly global reach. We are very excited about the future.”
For more information, contact Colin Donald by email: email@example.com or by telephone: +447793 606901
Notes to Editors: The final ranking of the SATUC Cup was as follows: 1. Egypt, 2. Cote D’Ivoire 3. England, 4. Morocco, 5. Mauritania, 6. Syria, 7 Philippines, 8. Algeria. The scores in the final matches. The scores in the final round of matches were as follows:
Egypt 5, Cote D’Ivore 2
England 4, Morocco 3
Mauritania 5, Syria 1
Philippines 5, Algeria 1
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