Monday, January 31, 2011


ABU DHABI, January 31, 2011   Five teams of passionate amateur footballers are to take part in the thrilling final of this year’s Vodafone Cup in Abu Dhabi as part of the Laureus World Sports Awards 2011.

For the first time, Vodafone are hosting the competition in partnership with Laureus to help raise funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The finals of the annual competition will be held at the Abu Dhabi Armed Officers Club during the weekend of February 5-6, with the climax of the event just one day before the Awards Ceremony itself.

The five successful grassroots teams from Greece, Iceland, Spain, Turkey and the UK will each bring their passion for the game to Abu Dhabi for the two-day competition, following which they will sit side-by-side with sporting greats, whilst attending the glamourous Awards Ceremony at the Emirates Palace Hotel.

The teams have earned the opportunity to play in the Vodafone Cup in Abu Dhabi through several different routes, all of which have been backed by Vodafone. These have ranged from local football tournaments in Spain and Iceland, to sales based initiatives for teams from small and medium sized businesses in the UK. 

Daragh Persse, Global Head of Sponsorship and Cause Marketing at Vodafone, said: “At Vodafone we have a passion for and commitment to sport, so it is fantastic to be hosting this competition for footballers who play for the love of the game. We are particularly delighted to be hosting this year’s Vodafone Cup with Laureus, whose work supporting charitable sport projects throughout the world truly demonstrates the good that sport can bring to people and communities as a whole. We are delighted to be Global Partners of Laureus and look forward to another highly successful Laureus World Sports Awards.”

The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.   The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony staged at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
The Laureus World Sports Awards is returning to Abu Dhabi thanks to the support of Aabar Investments PJS, who will once again be Host Partner for the event.  His Excellency Khadem Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Aabar, said: "The Laureus World Sports Awards is a unique event. It was magnificent, a great success for Abu Dhabi when it was held here last March. The whole event was really superb. We will certainly try to do something special for this year’s Awards.”
Kevin Spacey will once again host a glittering Awards Ceremony to be attended by leading sportsmen and women from around the world. In the audience at a packed auditorium at the Emirates Palace last year were Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, British film stars Hugh Grant and Clive Owen and American actors Kyle MacLachlan and Michelle Rodriguez.  Among the names of the winners of the 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards announced in Abu Dhabi were Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, Jenson Button, Kim Clijsters, Natalie du Toit and Stephanie Gilmore.
Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, offers a fascinating combination of the old and the new; a blend of Arabic hospitality and mystique where a mixture of culture and tradition come together against a backdrop of the most modern world-class infrastructure. Abu Dhabi is developing a reputation as a great sporting venue as host city for the FIFA Club World Cup, the Etihad Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, all highlights of the sporting calendar in the city.
Aabar Investments PJS is an investment company headquartered in Abu Dhabi. It invests in various sectors including aerospace, real estate, automotive and financial services. Its largest stakeholder is the International Petroleum Investment Company, which is wholly owned by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation which supports almost 80 community sports projects around the world. Since its inception, Laureus has raised €35 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of more than one million young people. 

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