Marseille to Replace Santos at the 'Mohammed bin Rashid International Football Championship'

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Organizers of the 'Mohammed bin Rashid International Football Championship' (Dubai Cup) today announced the withdrawal of their invitation to the Brazilian football club Santos. Olympique de Marseille of france; the only French team that won UEFA Champions League will be replacing Santos.

Marseille is a great team with a history of over 105 years and we have no doubts they will bring great fun and excitement to the Championship. This new formation of the teams represents the four countries that played in the semifinals of the world cup. We look forward to witness the history repeat in Dubai and feel very much delighted that we could provide a stage to such an exciting event.

Organizers of the 'Mohammed bin Rashid International Football Championship' (Dubai Cup) today announced the withdrawal of their invitation to the Brazilian football club Santos.

The withdrawal came after several interviews by Santos to the Brazilian media quoting to have received an offer of US$ 2 million to participate in the championship. Santos' officials were also quoted being uncertain of the Club's participation in the Championship due to difficulties in rounding up the players of their team despite of having given a written confirmation of the club's participation to the organizers.

Mr. Nasser bin Hassan Al-Shaikh of the organizing committee expressed his disappointment towards the senior management of Santos. "Brazil is the leading nation in the world of football and indeed we would have been honored to have their participation in the championship; however, we will not compromise on our principles under any circumstances due to the fact that this event carries one of the most prestigious names in the UAE".

Olympique de Marseille of france; the only French team that won UEFA Champions League will be replacing Santos. "Marseille is a great team with a history of over 105 years and we have no doubts they will bring great fun and excitement to the Championship. This new formation of the teams represents the four countries that played in the semifinals of the world cup. We look forward to witness the history repeat in Dubai and feel very much delighted that we could provide a stage to such an exciting event." added Mr. Al-Shaikh.

On January 8 and 10, 2007 at the Al Ahli Stadium, FC Bayern Munich, Olympique de Marseille, S. L. Benfica and S. S. Lazio will face each other in a battle of supremacy. The champion will not only walk away with the lion's share of the US$2 million prize fund but will also hold honor of being the very first winner of this inaugural event. Organized by the National Bonds Corporation in association with the Dubai Sports Council, the 'Mohammed bin Rashid International Football Championship' promises to be the most popular and anticipated sports event for the football lovers in the region and beyond.

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Maryam Al Serkal
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