Dubai: The fifth Maktoum Bin Rashid Ramadan Football Championships kicked off at the Dubai Police Officers Club late on Saturday.

Sponsored by Inkas Vehicles LLC under the patronage of Shaikh Zayed Bin Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the first night witnessed three matches from Group A and B being played immediately after the opening ceremony.

The first match that kicked off at 10 pm witnessed the Rashid Bin Ammar team from Ajman take on Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) followed by the second match between Shabab Dubai and Nojoom Al Shabia. The third match of the night saw Al Nukba take on Al Fursan.

Shaikh Zayed attended the opening night’s matches along with Shaikh Rashid Bin Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi in the presence of Mohammad Al Marri and Humaid Al Ansari from the Dubai Police Officers Club.

The 24 teams participating in the tournament have been divided into four groups of six teams each. At the end of the preliminary round matches, the top two sides from each group will advance to the knockout quarter-finals. From Sunday, there will be six matches played daily.

With Inkas Vehicles LLC as the main sponsors, this annual competition is also supported by Emirates NBD, Dubai Police, Leader Sport, Adidas and Sport Investment UAE. Entry for the matches is absolutely free and spectators are urged to attend the raffle draws held during games.