Dubai: The UAE will play in the inaugural four-team OSN Cup in Riyadh with Saudi Arabia, Trinadad and Tobago and New Zealand from September 5-9, it was announced on Tuesday.
Ahmad Eid Al Harbi, president of the Saudi Arabia Football Federation, said: “Our goal is to promote the culture of football in the Kingdom, set more platforms for our talented team to demonstrate their skills and to encourage new talent to step forward and be proud participants in Saudi Arabia’s modern football history.
“The OSN Cup is a significant initiative as it brings international football talent to our country. We are looking forward to some exciting matches that will delight true football fans and we thank OSN for organising this initiative which we are confident will be a mega success.”
David Butorac, CEO of OSN, said: “Football is the most popular sport in Saudi Arabia and across the Arab world. As a premium provider of world-class sports entertainment, we are now taking live sporting action to the next level. The OSN Cup is a tribute to our viewers and football fans across the region.
“The OSN Cup also supports the current focus of the Saudi Arabian authorities to promote football, a game in which the Kingdom has proven its excellence. By bringing together national and international talent, we promise some of the most exciting football action as well as the opportunity for the Saudi and UAE teams to take on international teams. We are thankful to the Saudi Arabian Football Federation for their fantastic support in organising what will be an exciting tournament.”
More than 25,000 spectators are expected to watch the matches live, which will be held at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh. OSN will broadcast the matches live and regional football fans will also be able to enjoy the matches on select free-to-air channels.
“Our objective is to take the OSN Cup to the widest possible audience across the region,” added Butorac. “We have recorded robust growth in the Kingdom with total subscribers increasing by over 35 per cent in 2012. As part of our growth plans, we will continue to look at diverse opportunities to engage with Saudis, bringing them the sports and entertainment experiences they love.”