Emirates FA Cup Makes Its Debut In Africa

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—-Ghanaian Fans Take Photo Opportunity

By Gifty Arthur

Some Ghanaian Football fans, had an experience of a life time, when they were allowed to have photo opportunity with the oldest and biggest domestic football trophy in the world, with a large global following, the FA cup Monday afternoon in Accra.

The strictly by invitation programme held at the Golden Tulip Hotel, followed the safe arrival of the Cup, the same day from Dubai accompanied by the former England International player, David James.

David James, who is the Emirates FA cup ambassador, during his career, played with Ghanaian internationals, Sulley Ali Muntari, and Kevin Prince Boateng, as goal keeper at Portsmouth.

He will spend two days in the country, before travelling to Kenya.

The tour of the two African Countries, which is first of its kind, is sponsored by Emirates Airline, the Title Sponsors of the Emirates FA cup in England.

According to Emirates, which sponsors some of the world’s biggest sporting events and teams like Real Madrid, Arsenal, and AC Milan, as well as US Open tennis, is to connect with people through their passion for sports, in this case, through football by taking the Emirates FA Cup to Accra,
Ghana and Nairobi, Kenya.

Diehard fans, who were made up of Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, among others, were selected to participate in the programme through radio competitions in each country, after which they qualified to take pictures (selfies) with the trophy, met and interacted with David James.

Emirates, became the Title Sponsor of the Emirates FA Cup, during the 2015/2016 season, as part of a three year sponsorship deal; the airline signed with the English Football Association (FA).

Country Manager, Emirates Airline, Hendrik Du Preez, said his outfit’s three year sponsorship deal with the FA, permits it to take the cup on tour of some selected countries and Ghana, which can safely be described as a football nation, happened to be one of the two countries selected.

He said, their relationship with the FA Cup, stems from the unique heritage of the cup, as it is the oldest and one of the most famous domestic football competitions in the world. The choice of Ghana as one of the few African countries was “not difficult,” he said.

According to Mr. Preez, “Ghana is a football loving nation, the passion and the love for the game, can easily be felt during games of black stars, be it friendly or competition or even during local league games”.

A lucky fan, Mubarak Saani, won all expenses paid trip for two to watch the next FA cup final in May 2017, in England.
Emirates, provides the best most comfortable and entertaining means of travel, as it takes entertainment seriously.

At Emirates, which prides itself as the “pacesetters” in the industry, Mr. Preez said “we see football as entertainment and so for us, bringing the fun and excitement of a rare photo opportunity with the Emirate FA Cup, is our way of replicating our many years of experience in providing quality entertainment to passengers on land”.

David James, thanked Ghanaians for the warm hospitality and predicted Ghana, could do very well in the next World Cup finals, after successfully participating in that competition three times.

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