Men and women are being encouraged to take part in a fun five-a-side football tournament, hosted by Active Sports Academy on January 24.
It’s the format that helped improve the skills of England striker Wayne Rooney, and if the Manchester United player enjoyed playing it then there’s no reason why you can’t – especially as there are cash prizes on offer.
DP World Soccer Stadium in Jebel Ali Port, Dubai, will be the venue for the tournament that begins at 09:00.
Consisting of men’s and women’s categories, the event will include a group stage followed by a knock-out phase. The number of teams to advance to the knock-out stage will depend on the number of sides taking part.
Registration for the event closes on Sunday, January 19. There is a maximum limit of nine squad players per team. Those who wish to enter must fill in the entry form which can be found on www.activeuae.com, and return it to [email protected]
The cost of entering a team for men and women is Dh1,000 but Michael Smith, tournament organiser, said the competition is worthwhile and open to everyone: “The tournament is open to all types of teams. It can be a group of friends but people should come to the venue as a team.
“It’s a tournament for the locals. There are other teams coming from different countries. We want to get the local community active which is the main purpose of the tournament. The tournament is just not open to teams who play every week. It can be to a group of people who have a kick-around at the park.”
If you have set your eyes on the winning prize then the men’s champions will pick up Dh3,000 while the runners-up will receive Dh1,000.In the women’s category, the triumphant side will go home richer by Dh1,000.
As the name suggests each side comprises five players – one goalkeeper and four outfield players. Each half will consist of seven minutes and unlimited substitutions can be made during the game as soon as the ball is out of play.
Unlike the traditional five-a-side game, heading the ball is allowed but if you are a striker you’ll be pleased to know there are no off-side rules meaning more opportunities to score goals.
During the group phase, match winners will receive three points, while both teams will receive one point if the game ends in a draw. The losers will receive no points. In the knock-out, if the match finishes in a draw after full-time, a penalty shoot-out will take place to determine who will go through.
The grass pitches that will be used are much smaller than a standard-size pitch. You may think a smaller pitch would mean less running around, but that’s not the case at all.
Nevertheless, the results are positive, as although you may be knackered after a few matches (or even the first few minutes of the game), the health and social factors are beneficial.
For those who are not taking part in the tournament, there is something for everyone to enjoy. There will be a BBQ where chefs will be cooking delicious fares that will whet your appetite.
There is also a ‘soccer zone’ where all players and fans can practice their skills in fun activities while the matches are taking place.
“If families come then this will act as entertainment for them," Smith added. "Everyone can come and have a good time. Players can join while they’re waiting for their next match."
What: Five-a-side football tournament
When: January 24, starts at 09:00
Where: DP World Soccer Stadium in Jebel Ali Port in Dubai