Fireworks, confetti and cash prizes capped a lavish closing ceremony for the Al Kass International Cup 2015 on Sunday, as French team, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), were crowned champions.
On a thrilling evening of football at the Aspire Zone, PSG beat Sao Paulo after a dramatic penalty shootout in the tournament final, while Arsenal bowed out on a high after defeating AC Milan 4-2 in the third-place play-off.
After the fourth and most successful tournament yet, it was only fitting that the closing ceremony should provide a spectacular send-off for the footballers who lit up the 2015 competition.
With thousands of local football fans in the crowd to witness the celebrations, the final night extravaganza did not disappoint. Winning the tournament for a second time after their 2012 success, PSG were honoured in spectacular style following their final match triumph over Sao Paulo.
In front of a full capacity crowd, members of the French team were presented with winners trophies, and a cheque for US$70,000 (QR 255,000), by Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.
Moments later Al Thawadi presented the tournament’s golden trophy to PSG captain Mamadou Doucoure, who then lifted it high, sparking a spectacular fireworks display as confetti reigned down, and a celebratory soundtrack rang throughout the stadium.
The celebrations followed a superb aeronautical display by a troupe of paratroopers from the National Academy for Professional Training, who descended upon the Aspire Zone pitch to the delighted applause of football supporters.
Meanwhile, earlier on in the ceremony other teams were awarded for their respective tournament successes also. For reaching the final and finishing second, Sao Paulo were recognised with a US$40,000 (QR 146,000) cheque and silver medals, presented by Essa Al Hitmi, Head of the tournament’s Organising Committee. Meanwhile North London club Arsenal collected US$25,000 (QR 91,000) for their third place finish and bronze medals, awarded to them by Ali Salem, Deputy Director of the Aspire Academy.
In addition, individual honours were bestowed upon Sao Paulo forward Paulo Da Silva and Arsenal’s Stephy Mavididi. With both strikers scoring five goals each, Da Silva was recognised as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while Mavididi was awarded the competition’s Golden Boot. The pair also received US$3,000 (QR11, 000) cash cheques in addition to their trophies. Sao Paulo keeper Lucas Da Silva was also recognised as the tournament’s best goalkeeper and received US$3,000 (QR11, 000).
However, at this unique tournament all those who participated were recognised for their efforts, as other cash prizes worth thousands of dollars were also granted to teams further down the final standings table.
Even Schalke 04, the German team who finished in 12th place, left the tournament US$4,000 (QR15, 000) better off. Meanwhile, a Fair Play trophy and US$3,000 (QR11, 000) was also awarded to the team with the best overall disciplinary record on Sunday. Finishing the competition with just seven bookings, it was Aspire Qatar who picked up this honourable prize during the closing ceremony.