Who’s up for the Workers Cup?
- Cassey Oliveira
- On March 21, 2013
The Qatar Workers Cup 2013 organised by QSports Leagues, exclusively for blue collar workers will kick off on March 29th. Not many workers are aware of it, but for a maiden effort, the response the tournament is receiving is encouraging.
The Qatar Workers Cup, supported by the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, has seen a positive response from companies, especially those based in Ras Laffan, according to Adil Ahmed of QSports Leagues. “So far around 50 companies have confirmed their participation. The competition is open to the first 16 teams to register, per sport. But we expect to increase the number of teams to 24 per sport based on demand,” says Adil.
The workers were particularly interested in football and cricket. “The federations of their respective sports are supporting the event, and we hope to not just double the number of teams for each sport next year, but also increase the number of games,” he added.
Tefken Construction, one of the participating companies, has signed up 18 workers for football. “Since the matches will be held on Fridays, it will be something that workers can enjoy during the weekend. We are supporting this initiative by QSports Leagues as it benefits our workers, and we will support our team during the matches as well. But since this is the first time that such an event is being held, we will have to wait and see how successful it is,” says Dogus Akinci, the company’s Document Control Chief.
In order to encourage participants and harness support the invitation sent out to the companies states that “All teams are expected to have a minimum of 50 supporters during their games.”
While Qatar Paragon Cont. & Enterprises has also registered Sales & Marketing Manager, Aisha Mascenon, says there has been no confirmation yet from Q-Sports. “The workers in our company were very excited about this event as it’s a nice break from their routine. It will help keep them fit too. We are just waiting for a confirmation, otherwise we will have to try again next year.”
The workers JustHere spoke to were not aware of the tournament. We asked a couple of workers from three different companies – Q Gardens, Gulf Facility Management and a local construction company, none of them had heard about the Qatar Workers Cup. “I enjoy playing football and volleyball with my friends here. But my company hasn’t informed us about any such matches,” said a Nepali worker.
Adil says that the only way to reach workers was through their companies. “We don’t expect workers to check our website and register individually, so we usually send across information on the various sports programmes (such as the Workers Cup) that we organise to the companies.”
QSports Leagues has around 150 programmes running throughout the year. Some programmes have a nominal fee that ranges from QR200-300, but there are alternative programmes offered during Ramadan that are free of cost. There are special corporate sports packages that cost approximately QR15-33 per month per person where workers are provided coaching for a certain sport and a designated area at the stadiums to play.
Sports… an entertainment option?
Qatar is also constructing the first commercial and entertainment complex for single workers in the Industrial Area. Upon completion, the complex would comprise cinema halls, commercial outlets, restaurants, an open-air theatre and a cricket stadium. Given the popularity of the sport among the large number of expatriate workers from the sub-continent, the stadium is expected to be a big hit.
First the cricket stadium, now the Workers Cup… while the intentions are to be commended, another question begs an answer; is isolating one section of society to such a degree healthy?
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