ABU DHABI // Over 3,000 athletes will vie for a slice of the million-dirham prize money in 12 different sports disciplines when the Armed Forces Officers Club Ramadan Festival runs from August 3-21.
The 15th staging of the festival consists of seven-a-side football (men and women), ice hockey, boxing, judo, wrestling, karate, jiu-jitsu, fencing, bowling, shooting, chess and PlayStation.
The festival in the previous years has drawn some of the top Emirati and expatriate athletes, and competitors from abroad.
"The AFOC festival is now well established and one of the most popular sporting events during the month of Ramadan," said Lieutenant General (ret) Mohammed Helal al Kaabi, chairman of the organizing committee.
The AFOC Festival last year dished out Dh 9million in cash prizes. This year it is expected to be the same or even more.
"We still haven't finalised the prize money for the upcoming event but it's not going to be less than what it has been in previous competitions," said Lieutenant Colonel Musabeh Hamad al Kaabi, AFOC's deputy director of recreation.
"Except for the men's football, which we have restricted to 64 teams, we still haven't come across a situation where we have to restrict the entries."
The women's football is expected to include the UAE national team and may include the national teams of the USA, Canada, Australia, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan and Oman.
"We have sent invites for the national federations but it will be up to them if they would send a national team or representative side," said Amal bu Shallakh, the head of the organizing committee for women's sports.