QSLM headquarters, QOC building, Doha, 14th October, 2009– Qatar National Bank (QNB) and Qatar Stars League Management (QSLM) officially endorsed a brand new title partnership at a signing ceremony held to mark the occasion.
QNB will be the title sponsor of the Qatar Stars Cup, which will now be known as the “Qatar Stars Cup QNB”. Together, Qatar’s largest financial institution and the country’s premier football league aim to promote domestic football on a much broader level.
Mr. Mohamad Al Khulaifi, Executive General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of QNB along with Mr Ahmed Albuainain VCEO of QSLM signed the agreements on behalf of their respective establishments.
QNB’s backing of “Qatar Stars Cup QNB” is part of the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility mandate which supports local and international Qatari Sporting Events, ranging from traditional camel racing and equestrian challenges, to popular modern sport such as football, volleyball, handball and basketball.
In time, Qatar Stars Cup QNB will transform into one of the most prestigious football events in Qatar and will benefit from the active support of Qatar’s largest financial institution.
The tournament currently features the same 12 Clubs of Qatar Stars League. The participating teams are divided into two groups (A & B), with the matches drawn using a round-robin league and knock-out progression system up to the semi-finals, which will then be fiercely battled out by the two top sides from each group. In total, the tournament will feature 33 matches over approximately three months, with the FINAL being held on 3rd January 2010.
Group A comprises Al Sadd, Qatar Sports Club, Al Arabi, Umm Salal, Sailiya and Shamal, whilst Group B has Gharaffa, Rayyan, Wakrah, Khor, Ahli and Kharaitiyat.
The brand-new Qatar Stars Cup QNB tournament slots into an already tight local football calendar that is aided by the new two-leg Qatar Stars League (QSL) as opposed to three-legs, meaning every team faces a single opponent just twice, rather than thrice as in recent years. Part of this change is also due to the addition of two new teams to the country’s top league, which was previously limited to 10. This season the number of teams climbs to 12.
With fewer league matches this season, the Qatar Stars Cup QNB becomes a very important tournament for QSL clubs who will all be fighting to push player fitness and competiveness to the next level in order to meet the demands of a packed three months of football.
The tournament was launched on Thursday October 8th 2009 whilst the ongoing QSL is currently on a scheduled mid-season break.