In line with its commitment towards empowering youth, especially in sports, Zain Iraq, part of Zain Group - the leading mobile telecom network provider in the MENA, sponsored the legends match that gathered world football legends and stars from previous Iraqi national teams.
The sports carnival followed an invitation from the Ministry of Youth and Sports and was sponsored by Zain Iraq to support the efforts deployed to lift the FIFA international ban on Iraqi stadiums and international matches hosted in Iraq.
Ali Al-Zahid, CEO, Zain Iraq, said: “The Legends match initiative is in line with Zain Iraq’s strategy to support Iraqi youth and contribute to lifting the ban on Iraqi stadiums.”
“Our sponsorship to this major event is in line with our belief in the importance of activating the partnership between public and private sectors, especially with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and we look forward to strengthen the collaboration to support youth in general, and specifically sports in Iraq,” added Al-Zahid.
The carnival represents a gateway for lifting the international FIFA ban on Iraqi stadiums. Currently, the ban has been lifted on Basra, Karbala and Erbil stadiums for friendly matches only.
“It is a historic day for Iraqi sports, as it reflects the true image of Iraq and Iraqis’ passion for sports, and welcoming these football legends represents a key achievement for Basra, local sports and football future in Iraq,” said Iraqi Minister of Youth and Sports, Abdul-Hussein Abtan expressing his optimism with the turnaround of the leading football gathering.
“It is inevitable for any country to grow or evolve without the private sector’s support. Zain Iraq is considered one of the main companies in Iraq’s private sector, as we have previous collaborations with the company. We wish for Zain Iraq to focus on sports and invest in this sector as much as CSR and charity and national major projects,” Abtan added, praising Zain Iraq role in the carnival sponsorship.
Iraqi players including Karim Saddam, Saad Qais, Laith Hussein and the Brazilian coach Jorvan Vieira, who led the Iraqi national team to win the 2007 Asian Cup, expressed their gratitude to Zain Iraq for its sports initiative contributing to the FIFA ban lifting on Iraqi stadiums. Zain Iraq also distributed valuable prices on attendees including 5 diamond lines worth 2.5 million Dinars each and 20 WiFi devices, in addition to thousands of other gifts.
The game that was hosted in the Basra Stadium and ended with a (5-4) win for world legendary footballers scored by Patrick Kluivert (3 goals) and Robert Pires and Luis García, where Younis Mahmoud, Razzaq Farhan, Nashaat Akram and Ahmed Manajed scored for Iraqi stars team. The carnival witnessed the participation of a group of world football teams’ legends and stars.