Al Shamkha beat Al Wathba on penalties, after a thrilling 2-2 draw, to secure the title of the second edition of the Mubadala Community Football League 2017-2018 at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi this week, while Al Rahba defeated Al Gharbia 2-0 to seal the third place.
Aimed at fostering community engagement, the Mubadala Community Football League is organised by Mubadala in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. The tournament ran from October for seven months and featured 40 teams playing more than 370 matches. The league comprised four divisions with 10 teams each. All the matches took place on the Zayed Sports City pitches, with the final round of games hosted in the main stadium.
Emanuel Tiote from Al Rowais won the best goalkeeper award, while Al Rahba’s Hamad Jasim Al Hosani received the top goal-scorer accolade, having netted an impressive tally of 26 goals. The championship and player of the tournament trophies were handed over to Mehdi Al Shatir and to Al Shamkha by Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Human Capital and Corporate Officer, and Aref Hamad Al Awani, General-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
Also present were UAE Pro League ex-professional players, Sbeit Khater and Abdel Salam Jomah, who showed their support and encouragement to the finalists. The Mubadala-sponsored Al Jazira Club had a strong presence through their CEO, Ayed Mabkhout, and a group of the Club’s first team stars such as Ali Mabkhout and Ali Khaseif who shared their incredible playing experience and the key learnings from the FIFA Club World Cup 2018, with the Mubadala Community Football League participants.
Al Shimmari said, "As football remains one of the UAE’s most dominant sports, there is no better platform to engage with our youth and bring them closer through the game. This partnership continues to positively impact our youth by providing them with the opportunity to get involved in sports. We would like to congratulate Al Shamkha on becoming the champions this year and thank all the participating players for their commitment and sportsmanship throughout, both on and off the field."
Al Awani said, "We are thrilled to partner with Mubadala on this initiative and proud of the success the second edition of the league has seen with an increase in the number of youths taking part in the competition. Our support for this tournament stems from our commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports activities for all members of the community."