Maradona named Honorary Ambassador of Sports in Dubai

Dubai: Diego Maradona, the football legend has now become the “Honorary Ambassador of Sports in Dubai”.

On this occasion, an official contract was signed today, Sunday, September 2nd 2012, between Dubai Sports Council and the famous Argentinian star. This contract reflects the good relationship between Dubai city and the legendary Maradona, as well as the desire of both parties to unify their mutual efforts, in a determined framework, to develop and promote sports in Dubai as a lifestyle choice.

The contract was signed between both parties at a press conference at the world famous Armani Hotel in Dubai, which is situated next to the iconic Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. The press conference was attended by a number of athletic figures in the country and many local and international media representatives keen on following the news of Maradona.

The contract was signed by Dr. Ahmad Al-Sharif, the Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, and Diego Maradona who will immediately start his work as an Honorary Ambassador of Sports in Dubai, whereby he will leverage his experiences to develop the game of football in Dubai, participate in national and international conferences in the Emirate and also highlight ideas to continue improvement of the sports landscape in Dubai, as per the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council. These plans will be carried out by the Dubai Sports Council, the official government entity responsible for the management and development of the sports sector in Dubai.

At the beginning of the press conference, the attendants congratulated His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai for the individual gold medal won at the World Endurance Championships and for leading the UAE team to a third win at the World Endurance Championships, an achievement that confirms the strong position of His Highness and his UAE team riders on the international level and the keenness of His Highness to support the improvement of sports in all manners.

Dr. Ahmad Al-Sharif confirmed that the Dubai Sports Council was keen on leveraging the name and affinity for Maradona in Dubai and internationally, for him to play a positive role in driving greater participation in sports here in Dubai and also to continue bringing more world-class sporting events to Dubai.

He said, “There is no doubt that Maradona is a successful example of what sports can do to a talented individual if he shows dedication, keeps developing his talent and represents his country with honuor. With such an international position and great talent, he can do more than anyone else can do: he can reach the new generation of talented athletes and motivate them to shine and achieve greater success”.

He added, “Maradona’s accomplishments have inspired the world. We trust that, through his work as a sports Ambassador, will contribute to inspiring the new generation of talented players to pursue the path of training, and persevere to reach the highest social and athletic levels possible.” The Argentinian star, Diego Maradona, expressed his happiness towards taking on this task which enables him to stay in Dubai which is the city he has come to love. He said that his wish is to support the great efforts already exerted and to be a part of the greater efforts that will be exerted in the coming period, to develop sports in Dubai, in line with the instructions of the leadership in the UAE to continue driving the culture of sports in the local communities to be able to create future champions that will excel on the international level.

Maradona asserted that he would be starting work in his new capacity as Honorary Ambassador of Sports in Dubai immediately, and that he would exert every bit of effort to succeed in this new mission. He also said he would dedicate his time and leverage all his experiences and international relations in the world of sports to succeed in this task, which he deems an opportunity to express his love for the people of UAE, who are passionate sports fans and to support Their Highnesses on making Dubai a strong sporting destination.

He said: “Dubai Sports Council and I have discussed a few ideas regarding what should be done in the coming period in the field of sports to discover new talents in the coming generation of local athletes. This was the greatest incentive for me to accept this mission”. He added, “Hosting successful global sporting events in has put Dubai on the global sports map, and I trust that this will help to encourage more home-grown stars to come out challenge the rest of the world.”