QFA chief honors U-19 squad at Aspire Academy gala dinner
DOHA: The outstanding success of Qatar’s U-19 footballers was a proud moment for Qatar football as well as for Aspire Academy. In order to honor the great achievement of the Academy’s graduates, student-athletes and the coaching staff, a special gala dinner was organised at the Academy on Sunday evening.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani, President of Qatar Football Association (QFA), and Khalid al-Sulaiteen, CEO of Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF), congratulated the players and their parents.
Ivan Bravo, Director General of Aspire Academy, welcomed the guests and congratulated the boys and team members for their outstanding success.
“You should, indeed, be proud and celebrate. Winning the AFC U-19 Championship for the first time in history and qualifying for the U-20 World Cup for the first time in 33 years is a remarkable achievement.
“But entering the World Cup as reigning Asian champions is downright magnificent,” Bravo commented.
The Qatar U-19 team won the recent AFC U-19 Championship in Myanmar, beating North Korea 1-0 in the final.
He reserved a “special thanks” to the parents of the payers. “This success would not have been possible without the approval and acceptance of the fathers and mothers and you should all be very proud of your sons and allow them to continue their journey and show the same support as you did in the past,” Bravo added.
He thanked all members of the Academy and specifically stressed the good work of the people that worked closest with the players in Myanmar: “Clearly, the coaching staff and supporting members of the national team and the broader group of people involved in football are to be commended for this outstanding job. Their dedication has been tremendous.”
“As an Academy, our contribution and satisfaction must be accompanied with gratitude towards the country’s leaders and the Qatar Football Association and its President, HE Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Ahmed al-Thani, who trusted us to lead the national team program over the past two years.
“The QFA has supported our decisions, plans and needs with conviction. Our gratitude must be extended also to the QSL clubs that accepted our program and preparation requirements for the benefit of the players and the further goal of development towards 2022,” added Bravo.
It was a special evening for all guests, especially for the players. “What we have experienced in the last couple of days was truly amazing and it is a motivation for all of us to keep working hard in order to be able to improve further and to be even stronger when we face the best teams of the world at the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand next year,” said striker Akram Afif.