DOHA, QATAR – 3 January 2011 – The AFC Asian Cup Trophy touched down on an Emirates flight to Doha today, in preparation for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ finals starting on 7 January.
Making the journey on Emirates from Kuala Lumpur to Doha, via Dubai, the 55 year old trophy was delivered safely to AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam by Yousuf Yaqoob Al Serkal, AFC Vice President, UAE. The trophy was also accompanied by Ahmed Khoory, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial, Gulf, Middle East and Iran.
Awaiting the trophy’s arrival in Doha was Qatar Local Organising Committee (QLOC) President, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani, Emirates’ Country Manager Qatar, Saeed Khalifa Bin Sulaiman and local media. Following a short press conference the trophy then left Doha International Airport for an open topped bus tour of Doha.
“I am delighted to see the trophy coming to Doha onboard Emirates. This is the first time that we have had the trophy delivered to the host nation of the AFC Asian Cup with such style,” said Mohamed Bin Hammam.
“I would like to thank Emirates for their hard work and their continued support of AFC and Asian football. We at AFC love to see sponsors engage with our activities and what we have witnessed today is a perfect example of a foresighted sponsor,” added Bin Hamman.
“Emirates has been heavily involved with the AFC since 1996. Our ongoing partnership of Asian football is reflective of our drive to spread our reach throughout Asia,” said Ahmed Khoory. “We see sponsorship of events such as this as the perfect catalyst to increase awareness of our services and build relationships with our customers through supporting their interests.”
“The tournament continues to grow and has attracted a loyal following of fans eager to see their team take home the trophy. I wish each of the 16 participating teams the best of luck in their matches” added Khoory.
The tournament, which takes place in Doha from 7th to 29th January 2011, will see 16 of Asia’s top national teams compete for the AFC Asian Cup 2011, including the United Arab Emirates, as well as Korea Republic, Japan and Australia, who played in the FIFA 2010 World Cup tournament.
As an Official Partner of the AFC, Emirates has rights to all AFC tournaments including the AFC Champions League, AFC Cup, AFC Challenge Cup, and a number of Club, Women’s and Youth team events.
In addition to its support of Asian Football Confederation, Emirates is an Official Partner of the FIFA World Cup™ with close links to FIFA and all its projects in the 2007–2014 period.
Emirates also sponsors Arsenal football club in addition to partnerships with Hamburg SV, Paris Saint Germain Football Club, AC Milan and Olympiacos FC. Emirates is also involved in a wide range of sports including sailing, golf, horseracing, tennis, cricket and rugby.