University students enjoyed a first-class experience in a day dedicated to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, with pupils from 37 different countries coming together to witness all the drama and excitement of Asia’s crown jewel.
With the captivating action on the pitch, universities in the UAE have committed to the Continental showpiece by bringing diverse groups of students together, using the power of football to unite and engage, giving students an opportunity to attend matches.
Four dedicated University Days will be taking place across each host city, with hundreds of students kicking-off the programme in Abu Dhabi when they attended Thursday’s epic contest between Korea Republic and China PR, which saw the Taeguk Warriors seal a 2-0 victory at the Al Nahyan Stadium.
Excitement for the tournament has been building in universities in recent months with enthusiasts taking part in dedicated football competitions inspired by the tournament, whilst a select number have also achieved successful work placements with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the AFC Asian Cup, helping generate community conversation, engagement and events.
Speaking on the university day, Korea Republic student of Sorbonne University, Joon Soo, who has also worked on the AFC Asian Cup over the past six months, commented: “I have been fortunate, through my internship with the LOC, to watch the excitement increase for the tournament across many different cultures.
“My university friends have all been looking forward to seeing their country play too and through the university day, all of us from all backgrounds were united by our common love for football.”
Jawhara Al Haddad, Khalifa University student and president of the Korean club also attended the game with the club members, which was the first time that they had been to an international football, said: “Everyone in the university was talking about the AFC Asian Cup and going to a match which is something that I hadn’t really thought about. Our university was also promoting the AFC Asian Cup. I didn’t want to miss out, so I wanted to try it and I really enjoyed it.
"Being part of a great atmosphere and cheering for the country that I‘m interested in with my colleagues was something that I loved. Now I’m an adopted Korea Republic fan for the rest of the tournament after my experience.”
More than 20 universities and colleges across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain and Sharjah are taking part in dedicated days.
Fans can still catch the riveting action, with a number of tickets still available for purchase online via www.asiancup2019.com and in Virgin Megastores outlets with prices starting from just Dhs25. Fans can also join in the conversation online and share their experiences of the tournament by using the hashtag #BringingAsiaTogether