They stressed that it is a legacy that has been passed down through generations and influences the rejection of fanaticism

Retired stars: The Ramadan sessions honored a generation ignored by sports authorities   

  • From the matches of the Mansour bin Zayed Ramadan Football Championship. From the source

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Retired football stars confirmed that the Ramadan tournaments are a legacy passed down from fathers and grandfathers, and created generations that love various games and inspire sports excellence, stressing that these tournaments honored them, at a time when many sports bodies ignored them, as some of them put it.

They told Emirates Today: “The Ramadan tournaments presented a civilized image of our society, by rejecting fanaticism, which makes football stars, especially the retired, keen to participate in them, in the hope of renewed rapprochement between the fans who are keen to come to enjoy their skills, away from... Win and lose calculations.

They explained that “Ramadan tournaments have developed in recent years, and some unknown games have revived, and through their gates they set out to represent national teams in various games, and there is now a wide arena for clubs to choose the best talents to join their sports teams.”

Civilized image

For his part, former national team and Al-Nasr club player, Khaled Ismail, said: “Ramadan sessions are a legacy passed on by children from parents and grandparents, generation after generation, and football players, whether retired or current, are closely linked to them during the holy month.”

He added: “The generation of the 90s - and I am one of them - found the greatest appreciation and honor on every occasion in which we participate in the Ramadan tournaments, and perhaps we have not received such appreciation from any sporting body over the past 34 years. Fans of all ages are keen to rally around us and recall with us the memories of someone.” The best generations that have passed through Emirati football, and it can be said that the best appreciation that I personally came out of football is the public connection that lasted for more than 50 years.” He added: “The Ramadan tournaments have differed greatly these days. After they were held in Al Furjan and clay courts, they moved to being professional on grass fields and inside air-conditioned gyms, and they developed to include many different sports other than football, so they became a forum for athletes to gather, not from within.” Not only the UAE, but also from several countries, to present a civilized image of our society, and to introduce the virtues of the Holy Month, which calls for love and rapprochement, and today we are witnessing the impact of the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament, for example, on athletes and sports federations, creating generations that love various games, and are prepared For sporting excellence in the future.”

Corporate support... and huge prizes

For his part, Al-Wasl and former national team player, Munther Ali, confirmed that the Ramadan tournaments have developed significantly in recent years, thanks to the sponsorship of major companies, the allocation of huge prizes to participants, as well as the broadcast of their matches on television channels and the media, which has transformed them from simply practicing sports. Entertainment leads to competition and the desire to achieve victory, which attracted the best stars to it, especially in football.

Munther Ali said: “We became associated with Ramadan tournaments because of their special sporting atmosphere and positive impact on attracting everyone to interact with them. They have also become an incentive for many young people to love football and become attached to it.”

He added: “The Ramadan tournaments, no matter how much development they have undergone, will remain a destination for football stars, especially those who have retired, to return to the competitive atmosphere and showcase their skills in front of stadiums filled with fans, and with them they will recall the memories of the good times.”

He continued: “Thanks to this development, some unknown sports revived, and through their gates they set out to represent national teams in various games, and it became a wide arena for clubs to choose the best talents to join their sports teams.”

Far from fanaticism

As for former Al Ain club and national team player Faisal Ali, he said, “Ramadan tournaments are popular with many football players, and perhaps better than official matches, thanks to the atmosphere that surrounds them, away from fanaticism and club affiliation.”

He said: “In official matches, the player is under the pressure of the result and adherence to the coach’s instructions, so talent adheres to such technical matters, in contrast to the Ramadan tournaments in which football players feel that there is an audience coming to enjoy their skills, not fanatic about winning or losing, and this is what mobilizes their energies.” Every player wants to bring out the best in him, so that the fans return home enjoying every minute they spent in the Ramadan tournaments.” He added: “I loved the Ramadan tournaments since I was young, as I accompanied my family and friends to watch the local stars and many of the prominent names in Arab football that were participating in them, which made me get attached to playing the game, and then the matter developed into professional football at Al Ain Club.” .

. Fans of Ramadan tournaments enjoy the players’ skills, regardless of winning and losing.