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: Superleague Formula unveil first Middle East club

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES CLUB TO TAKE ON THE WORLD IN SUPERLEAGUE FORMULA Abu Dhabi: Superleague Formula is beginning to spread it wings -- adding leading middle east club and 2002 Asian Football Confederation Champions League winner, Al Ain to the...

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES CLUB TO TAKE ON THE WORLD IN SUPERLEAGUE FORMULA

Abu Dhabi: Superleague Formula is beginning to spread it wings -- adding leading middle east club and 2002 Asian Football Confederation Champions League winner, Al Ain to the grid. Renowned as the most successful club in the United Arab Emirates, Al Ain FC is located in the city of the same name -- the fourth largest in the UAE. The inland centre is known as the garden city and forms a geographic triangle with Dubai and Abu Dhabi -- each approximately 150 kilometres from each other. The club's entry into Superleague Formula was unveiled tonight at the spectacular Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

The event was attended by local VIPs including members of the UAE royal family His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Hazaa Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Khalid Al Nahyan. Formed in 1968, the Al Ain Sports and Cultural Club adopted the colours of fellow Superleague Formula club RSC Anderlecht after a 1977 training camp in Morocco. The club is the most successful in the UAE, winning the UAE League on nine occasions. Other titles include the 2003 AFC Champions League crown, four UAE Emir Cup wins and a Gulf Club Champions Cup victory in 2001. Al Ain has qualified for the AFC Champions League on five occasions, winning the inaugural crown in 2002-03 and also making the final in 2005.

"By combining our passion for football with motorsport and competing in Superleague Formula, we have an outstanding opportunity for our club and our brand to be represented on the world stage," H.E Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of AL Ain Club said. "Motorsport in the Middle East has become enormously popular in recent years and the region is rapidly becoming an international focal point for the sport."

Al Ain's entry into Superleague Formula will be supported by Al Qudra Holding - the leading investment company based in the United Arab Emirates. "Al Qudra Holding takes great pride in sponsoring Al Ain in Superleague Formula -- we are looking forward to the UAE's sports ambassadors going head to head with the best teams from all over the world in one of the most-awaited events of the year,"

Mr. Mahmood Ebraheem Al Mahmood, C.E.O Al Qudra Holding said Al Ain joins European clubs AC Milan, PSV Eindhoven, FC Porto, Olympiacos, Borussia Dortmund, FC Basel, RSC Anderlecht, Galatasaray, Sevilla and Rangers as well as Brazilian rivals Flamengo and Corinthians on the Superleague Formula grid. Each club's colours will be represented aboard the 750 horsepower V12 powered single seaters that will contest the six round championship starting at Donington Park in the UK on August 30/31.

"Our aim for Superleague Formula is to gather the biggest names in football from across the globe and provide a unique stage to do battle in an entirely new sport," Superleague Formula President and CEO, Alex Andreu said. "While much of the world's focus is on motorsport and football throughout Europe, it is important we embrace new regions such as the Middle East because of the tremendous growth opportunities. "Major four wheel and two wheeled championships from around the world are starting to hold events in this region and we felt it was very important for this part of the world to be represented in our championship as well.

"The club has limited opportunities to do battle against the rest of the world on the football pitch -- now we will provide them with a chance to fight it out in an entirely new competition."

-credit: superleagueformula.com

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