The Official Draw for the Al Rayyan Satellite Channel Futsal Championship 2017 was held at the Al Rayyan Sports Football Club and mapped out the group-stage challenge for each of the 20 teams.

The Al Rayyan Channel Futsal tournament will bring some promising matches with last year’s semifinalists Al Nour and Al Galayel taking on Ein Khaled and Duhail respectively in the opening match on the third day of Ramadan (29 May).

Group 1: Al Nour, Ein Khalid, Al Galayal, Duhail, Jordan
Group 2: Al Adaam, Al Rahib Futsal, WS, Al Zaeem, Spain
Group 3: Al Jarayan, Al Annabi, Al Hazm, Manfath Bu Samara, Lebanon
Group 4: Mawater, Al Wakra, Movie Star, Lamaasat Zeidan, Iran

Other standout games from the first round of matches include last year’s runners up Al Adaam who faces newcomer Al Rahib Futsal while Al Annabi face 2016 title holders Al Jarayan. Meanwhile Lebanon has been dealt a challenging opener against Al Jarayan, while Iran kicks off their competition against another seeded team in the form of Mawater.

Al Rayyan Satellite Channel’s General Manager and head of the Al Rayyan Futsal Committee, Mubarak Al Awwami, said they were delighted that Al Rayyan Channel will host and telecast live the second edition of the futsal competition. He said he looks forward to welcoming the teams, players and spectators to the Ramadan feature which appears to be more fiercely competitive this year. Speaking about the recent changes made, Al Awwami said changes in the game schedules were made to accommodate players and their supporters. He added that they also increased the prize money and made slight enhancements to the championship trophy and medals.

Commenting on the draw, Al Awwami said that all four groups look impressive, adding that the teams are evenly divided in strength and prowess.

Obviously the top four seeded teams could all be ruled as favourites but I think we might be in for a few surprises.’

Describing the draw format Al Awwami said the draw was done in an open and fair process to all participating teams.

We placed last season’s top four teams in band one, the embassy’s in band 5 and the remaining twelve teams spread across three bands. This format allows for better knock out stages and strong preliminary competition.’

Secretary General Al Al Malki praised Al Awwami and said he acknowledged the determination of the committee president for steering the competition. He added that Al Awwami’s will and fortitude as a leader is extraordinary and brings out the best in all members.

Judging from the results of the team groups, this year will be epic in content, style and skills. The tournament looks stronger and evenly divided making for way greater success.’

Meanwhile, Flamboyant Lebanon coach Ali Kotesh said they were thankful to Al Rayyan Channel for hosting the second edition of the competition.

We are as always delighted and very thrilled to be invited by an organisation as professional as Al Rayyan Channel.’

The tournament will boast 20 of Qatar’s best futsal teams. The winners and runners up will share an early Eid Al Fitr gift of QR250,000 QR150,000 and QR75,000 respectively. There will also be other cash awards for the top goal scorer, best goal keeper and MVP of the tournament. In addition, Al Rayyan Channel will also give out QR48,000 for the Man of the Match awardee.

Al Rayyan Channel GM Mubarak Al Awammi during the embassy team draw with TV host Sabah Al Kuwari
Al Rayyan Channel GM Mubarak Al Awammi during the embassy team draw with TV host Sabah Al Kuwari

The Ramadan Championship will commence on 29 May (Day 3 of Ramadan) and will continue until 30 June (Day 18 of Ramadan). There will be 40 preliminary matches before the knockout stages, all played at 15 minutes halves with a 2 minute break. The opening day will feature entertainment, prizes and giveaways. First day highlight features Qatar All Stars taking on the Saudi Arabia Legends. Event is free and open to the public.

Visit the Al Rayyan Satellite Channel website for more information.