DUBAI – The Spanish Soccer Schools (SSS) Iniesta teams have continued their domination of the Dubai Sports Council Football Academies Championship, leading all but two of the 10 groups after week seven of the 12-week competition.
Level on 15 points with The Football Academy A team in the Under18 Group A after six weeks, SSS Iniesta moved to the top of the table following a 1-1 draw with Precor. The SSS Iniesta U16 team also moved to the top of the table in the U16-A group following a 3-1 win over Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai, replacing FCB Escola Grana, who were held to a 3-3 draw by the SSS Iniesta U15 team.
In the U14 competition, SSS Iniesta lead both Group U14-A and U14-B. The SSS Iniesta U14 team lead Group A with 12 points despite having the week off; they have played one match less than second-placed FCB Escola Grana (11 points from six matches).
In Group B, SSS Iniesta U13 consolidated their position at the top with a crushing 7-1 win over Al Nasr. They now boast an all-win record with 21 points from seven matches, having conceded just once in their campaign. The SSS Iniesta U12 team occupy the second spot with 12 points, having played two matches less.
In the U12 division, the SSS Iniesta U12 and SSS Iniesta U11 teams have maintained their position at the top of Group A, with 15 and 13 points respectively, while Arsenal got their first three-points of the campaign with a 10-2 hammering of Royal Emirates Sports Academy.
In Group B, Alliance Football Academy remain at the top with 18 points, while Al Nasr have replaced SSS Carvajal U12 in second following a convincing 5-2 win over the Spanish team.
In the U10 division, SSS Iniesta lead both Group A and Group B. SSS Iniesta U9 consolidated their position in Group B with a thumping 6-1 win over Alliance, while in Group A, SSS Iniesta U10 have a one-point advantage over FCB Escola, but the two are set to battle next in what should be an appetising table-top clash.
“The competition is really heating up as we enter the final weeks of the Championship,” said Ahmed Salem Al Mahri, Director of Dubai Sports Council’s Department of Academies. “It is a real pleasure to see so many talented youngsters in action every week, playing this Beautiful Game.
“Dubai needed a tournament like this, which gives these young players from the local clubs, academies and soccer schools a competitive football game every weekend. There was a lack of competition and that is so important when you are young.
“So we at Dubai Sports Council are really pleased to provide this opportunity to our young talents, both the Emiratis and expatriates. We believe it is really important to create a platform where young players get a chance to compete against each other and, as a result, become much better football players.
“This tournament was the first of DSC’s initiatives to involve private academies in official competitions alongside our local club academies, and it contributes towards the overall development of the youth sector in Dubai and the UAE.”
In its second year, the Dubai Sports Council Football Academies Championship has attracted more than 1,300 players from around 100 different nationalities this year, with 32 matches being played every weekend at Dubai Sports City.
Organised by Dubai Sports Council (DSC) in association with Royal Emirates Sports Academy (RESA), the tournament has attracted teams from UAE clubs Shabab Al Ahli–Dubai, Ajman and Al Nasr, as well as academies like Spanish Soccer Schools, Arsenal, AS Roma, Dubai City FC, Choueifat, Go Pro, Royal FC, La Liga, Precor and Le Club France.