Talal Al Hashemi (6th left) and Dr Yousuf Al Hammadi (3rd left) with Al Jazira officials and players, besides Mubadala representatives, during the unveiling of the new team. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Al Jazira Football Club on Wednesday unveiled their official new team jersey for the upcoming Arabian Gulf League 2018-2019 season, with their jersey featuring the logo for the Special Olympic World Games Abu Dhabi.

“The Special Olympic World Games is going to be a very big event hosted by Abu Dhabi in March of next year, and so we are very happy to receive the support of a big football club like Al Jazira. We believe this is going to be a very good partnership that’s going to raise a lot of awareness and get the message out about the Special Olympics,” said Talal Al Hashemi, the national director for the UAE Special Olympics.

“Creating this partnership with a popular team like Al Jazira is also beneficial for our athletes who are a part of the Special Olympics, they look up to many of the players who play for Al Jazira and so they now get the chance to meet and interact with their favourite superstars,” he added.

Al Hashemi said the UAE Special Olympics was looking to create more partnerships with other football clubs in the UAE.

“The idea is to start with Al Jazira Football Club and then to expand such partnerships with other football teams. Football as we all know is a very popular sport in the UAE, and so we believe that creating partnerships with football clubs will be a great way of getting our message to the youth.”

Dr Yousef Al Hammadi, chief intelligence officer for the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi, said the sponsorship deal with Al Jazira would be for their home and away league matches.

“The deal we have in place is for our logo to be appear on the Al Jazira jersey for their home and away games, starting with their first match on August 31 against Shabab Al Ahli. As of now, this will only be for their Arabian Gulf League matches.

“Beyond our logo appearing on the new team kit, this partnership is also going to see a lot of engagement between the players of Al Jazira and our athletes from the UAE Special Olympics team, which is going to bring a lot of joy and happiness for our athletes,” he added.

Speaking on the Special Olympics World Games, Al Hammadi said the UAE was ready to host the Games and promised a memorable experience.

“Everything is in place for the games, we have worked very hard and have received a lot of support from the Abu Dhabi community and the government as well. We are very much looking forward to the games now; this will be the first Olympics event to ever be held in the Middle East and North Africa region and we are proud to be making that history.

“We are going to welcome 7,500 athletes from all around the world along with their families and official delegations, and what we want from the UAE community is to be there at the games cheering their teams and welcoming the world to Abu Dhabi,” he added.