Expo 2020

International football legends to play in ‘All-Star’ tournament at Expo 2020 Dubai

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Four international footballing superstars are to recruit their own All-Star squads for a football tournament to be held at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The event on January 8 is set to bring together “football legends, celebrities, local dignitaries and VIPs”, according to a statement by Dubai Media Office.

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Footballing stars Patrice Evra, Michel Salgado, Bacary Sagna and Samir Nasri have been challenged to recruit their own All-Star squads via social media to compete in the game.

The four captains of the All-Star squads are global icons with a history of sporting success including winning the UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup as well as domestic league tournaments in England, France, Spain and Italy.

They have also been star players in some of the world’s most famous football clubs such as Real Madrid, Manchester United and Arsenal.

Each of the four team captains have been tasked with putting together fifteen-strong squads consisting of up to eight footballing icons, celebrities or VIPs, up to three representatives of Expo 2020 pavilions, up to two rising stars, and two wildcards (which can include selected members of the public).

Each team must have a minimum of three women.

The event aims to be a highlight in UAE’s footballing event calendar, kicking off the new year with some of the most recognizable names and faces in town at the time.

The Exhibition Game – held in association with UAE FA, Expo 2020, Dubai Tourism, Dubai Cares, Football for Peace, the Dubai Sports Council and Adidas -will be held between 4pm and 7pm at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The event will also feature limited open access to the public visiting Expo 2020.

The concept for the event was based on ideas generated by the leadership of UAE FA which had organized a friendly pick-up match in January 2021 in the build-up to the launch of its 2038 strategy. The UAE FA has since collaborated with a series of strategic partners to bring some of the biggest personalities in the game together.

Mohammed Hazzam Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of the UAE Football Association, said: “The presence of so many football icons and the interest it generates from media and fans under the umbrella of the UAE FA at an iconic setting like Expo 2020 has put UAE football under the global spotlight.”

Tareq Ghosheh, chief Events and entertainment Officer, Expo 2020, said: “Football speaks to the world in a language that everyone understands. With the power to inspire and unite people from diverse backgrounds, the All-Star event is a perfect addition to Expo 2020’s sports platform, which has been developed with a shared purpose of international cooperation towards a healthier, happier and safer planet.”

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