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The U-19 World Champions USA pose with team officials and other dignitaries after the awarding ceremony
America dethrone Canada as world champs Mexico pip Austria 31-30 for third place

KUWAIT CITY, July 17: The U-19 American football championship under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah concluded with America snatching 40-17 victory over Canada in a heated final match played at the Al Nasr Sports Club on Thursday, ending the Canadians reign as world champions. Minister of Information and Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah attended the final match and the honoring ceremony, during which he handed the world championship trophy along with honorary medals and certificates to the players.

Other officials present at the event included Head of Kuwait Olympic Committee and National Union for Football Sheikh D.Talaal Al-Fahad, Head of the National Union for Women’s Sports Sheikha Naema Al-Ahmed, President of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Tommy Wiking; in addition to delegates from the American and Canadian embassies. During the final match, the American team went full against the Canadian team, giving them a head start during the 1st quarter which ended with 12 points for America while Canada was only able to score 7 points. However, the latter was able to bounce back in the 2nd quarter and overtook America with 14 points against 12.

The American team came back during the 2nd half and scored 22 consecutive points, and the Canadian team was not able to bounce back again, leaving the American team victorious and world champions. On the other hand, prior to the final match, the 3rd and 4th placers in the championship were determined in a close match between Mexico and Austria, which ended with 31-30 win for Mexico. The match was very close, keeping everyone on the edge of their seats, until Mexico secured 3rd place at the last moment, leaving Austria on 4th. Meanwhile, speaking in a press conference after the closing ceremony, the Minister of Information and Youth Affairs said he is proud to represent His Highness the Amir in the closing ceremony of the championship which left the shores of the United States of America for the first time to be hosted by Kuwait. He asserted the Amir continuously supports the youths and all sports being practiced in Kuwait. The minister expressed his gratitude to the organizing committee and the Kuwaiti youths headed by Sheikh D.Talaal Al-Fahad for making this championship a great success.

He pointed out that Kuwait hosting this world championship contributes to raising Kuwait’s presence in the international level in terms of sports, adding that the ministry will not hesitate in supporting further efforts in this field. Moreover, Sheikh D.Talaal Al-Fahad, Head of Kuwait Olympic Committee and National Union for Football, also extended his gratitude to the Amir for supporting the championship, and the minister for attending on the Amir’s behalf. Sheikh D.Talaal Al-Fahad affirmed that by hosting the U-19 American Football World Championship, a sport that is practically new in the Arab region, will increase the participation from the Kuwaiti youths even more, as there are currently around 300 Kuwaitis who practice this sport, which is a large number considering this sport is only two years old in Kuwait.

He hopes this achievement opens doors to establish specialized venues for American Football. He pointed out that Kuwait hosted numerous championships this year - in table tennis, martial arts and other sports. He praised the Kuwaiti youth, both males and females, for their efforts in organizing and managing these championships. Meanwhile, President of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Tommy Wiking praised Kuwait and its organizing teams for their efforts, which can be described as admirable, as none of the participating teams voiced even the slightest complaints, thanking all the participating teams and Kuwait as a host.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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