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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 18, (KUNA): In the midst of a packed stadium, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah announced the official opening of the multi-purpose Jaber Al- Ahmad International Stadium on Friday. Also attending the event were His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, alongside several local officials and notable figures.
Announcing the official launch of Kuwait’s Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah described the national sports venue as an “exceptional sports monument.” “With the blessings of Allah, we announce the opening of this huge sports edifice, Jaber Al-Ahmad International,” he said in his inauguration speech while attending the event. “We congratulate our athletes, daughters and sons, on this exceptional sports monument and wish them all success and further accomplishments that raise Kuwait’s flag at different regional and international events. “We pray to Allah that he keep our dear nation safe, secure and prosperous and our days filled with joy and laughter,” he said.
His announcement was followed by a magnificent display of pyrotechnics that lit up the skies of the Gulf nation, ahead of a match between a global star-studded side and a Kuwait all-stars team. His Highness the Amir arrived to much fanfare and was welcomed to the venue by a host of officials, namely the Information Minister and State Minister for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al- Humoud Al-Sabah. Other officials included State Minister for Cabinet Affairs and acting Minister of Electricity and Water and organising committee chief Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah. Also the Amiri Diwan’s Financial and Administrative chief and deputy organising committee head Abdulaziz Saud Ishaq and Chairman and Director General of the Public Authority for Sports Sheikh Ahmad Mansour Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
The event is being witnessed by a number of officials, namely His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, senior sheikhs, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al- Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al- Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Minister for Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Acting Minister of Oil Anas Al-Saleh, sports ministers and heads of sports Gulf Cooperation Council bodies, GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayani and senior officers in the armed forces, police and National Guard.
The huge event at the 60,000-seater stadium was marked by the Champions Cup, a match between a star-studded side of ex-internationals, led by renowned Italian coach Fabio Capello, and a Kuwait all-stars side, led by national coach Mohammad Ibrahim. The global side included greats such as ex-England internationals David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Jamie Carragher and David James, alongside Italy’s Alessandro Nesta and Gianluca Zambrotta, Portugal’s Luis Figo and Spain’s Carlos Puyol and Michel Salgado. Brazilian legends Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos also form part of the global all-stars, along with German keeper Jans Lehman, France’s Robert Pires, Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko and Jamaican Dwight Yorke. On the local side were Bader Al-Mutawa, Abdulhadi Khamis, Yousif Nasser, Fahad Al-Enezi, Mohammad Jragh, Fahad Al-Ansari, Abdulaziz Al-Mashaan, Talal Nayef, Musaed Neda, Fahad Al-Hajeri, Hussain Hakim, Abdullah Al-Buraiki, Khaled Ibrahim, Amer Al-Maatouq, Khaled Al-Rashidi, Sulaiman Abdulghafoor.
Former Egyptian star Mohammad Abu Traika and the United Arab Emirates’ Omar Abdulrahman also formed part of the local side. A Saudi sports official on Friday praised the launch of Kuwait’s multipurpose Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium, describing the feat as a “source of pride” and a “gift” for all sportsmen in the region. Saudi Arabia’s Athletics Federation President, who is representing his country’s President General of Youth Welfare, Prince Nawaf bin Mohammad bin Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Al-Saud said he was “delighted” and “honoured” to be attending the official opening of the 60,000-seater stadium. “The stadium bears the name of someone dear to our hearts,” he said of the late former Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah shortly after arriving at Kuwait International Airport ahead of attending the event later in the day. “People (in the region) look to sports events as secondary matters. Focusing on them is a sign that our Gulf region is safe and politically and economically stable. “This stadium for the youth of Kuwait is a gift to us all,” he added.
Jaber Stadium inauguration is a source of great “pride” and tremendous “achievement” for the State of Kuwait, UAE’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al-Nahayan said on Friday. Al-Nahayan made this remark to the press upon his arrival to Kuwait to be part of the grand opening ceremony of this sporting facility which he described as source of “pride not only to Kuwait but also to all of the GCC countries.” “We are one nation celebrating one joy,” Al-Nahayan referring to Kuwait’s sporting festival.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has taken strict measures on all roads leading to the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium as part of arrangements for the opening of the facility tonight. Several checkpoints have been set up, and army and National Guard personnel intensively deployed in order to ensure the safety and security of Kuwaiti crowds lining up in long queues at the new sports facility, which will be opened under the aegis of His Highness the Amir. People are taken in the stadium by buses provided by the ministry, while only cars with special permits are given direct access. Police vehicles, patrols, and ambulances are stationed at all the entrances of the new stadium.