National Bonds to Host World-Class Football Teams at the Inaugural 'Mohammed Bin Rashid International Football Championship'

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National Bonds Corporation will host Bayern Munich, Benfica, Lazio and Santos at the inaugural 'Mohammed Bin Rashid International Football Championship' held from January 8 to 10, 2007 at the Al Ahli Football Stadium, Dubai.

We would like to give a very warm welcome from our national football hero, E. Eusebio, and the team of Benfica. We are proud and happy to come to Dubai in January and participate at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Football Championship. We are certain that people in Dubai will see exciting matches between Lazio, Santos Bayern Munich and Benfica.

National Bonds Corporation, the pioneer of Shari'a compliant saving schemes in the United Arab Emirates, will host international football clubs at the inaugural 'Mohammed Bin Rashid International Football Championship' held in association with the Dubai Sports Council, from January 8 to 10, 2007 at the Al Ahli Football Stadium, Dubai.

Mohammed Bin Rashid International Football Championship, with a prize fund of US$2 million, will be an annual event that would showcase global football talent for football lovers in the UAE.

The inaugural Mohammed Bin Rashid International Football Championship was announced to the international media at a special ceremony held at Bayern Munich's arena in the presence of German football legend Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and representatives of international football giants Bayern Munich (Germany), Benfica (Portugal), Lazio (Italy) and Santos (Brazil) -- the four teams that have confirmed participation at the tournament.

Mohammed Bin Rashid International Football Championship will coincide with Dubai's shopping and entertainment extravaganza, the Dubai Shopping Festival, and will be telecast on international television channels. The four teams will play two semi-finals on January 8 followed by the final and third-place match on January 10 at the championship, which is billed to be one of the finest football spectacles to be ever held in the UAE.

"Football is the most popular sport on earth and by rolling out the inaugural Mohammed Bin Rashid International Football Championship, we are reiterating our commitment to our valued clientele - the large population of UAE residents," said Mr Nasser Bin Hassan Al-Shaikh, Vice Chairman and CEO, National Bonds Corporation. "We are bringing in the best names in international football and aim to offer our patrons here the true excitement of a global sporting event."

The games will be played according to the rules laid out by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The matches will be held on January 8 and 10 at the revamped Al Ahli Football Stadium. "We will ensure that the matches are played entirely according to world-class standards. We will have international referees and line-staff and all amenities at the ground will match global requirements," added Mr Al-Shaikh.

Mr. Rummenigge, from Bayern Munich said, "We are very proud to participate in this fantastic tournament in Dubai. We are once again coming back to our second home, as we have a lot of friends in Dubai and we always enjoy a fantastic and successful stay in this exciting city."

Mr. Mazrco Canigiani, Marketing Director of SS Lazio said, "We are very pleased to be invited to Dubai. We would like to give our best in this high class championship, and we expect a lot of good play for the enjoyment of our supporters in Dubai."

Mr. Coelho, General Secretary, from Benfica said, "We would like to give a very warm welcome from our national football hero, E. Eusebio, and the team of Benfica. We are proud and happy to come to Dubai in January and participate at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Football Championship. We are certain that people in Dubai will see exciting matches between Lazio, Santos Bayern Munich and Benfica."

The president of Santos, Mr. Marcelo Texeira, said, "We are very excited about playing in Dubai. This would give us the opportunity to get prepared for the Brazilian tournament by facing the biggest clubs in the world."

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Maryam Al-Serkal
National Bonds Corporation
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