x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

RAK departments kick-off football tournament

The government department league tournament will run till August 9 and promises "a big surprise" reward.

RAS AL KHAIMAH // The annual Ramadan football tournament between government departments will kick-off in Ras al Khaimah at 10 tonight.

Each of the 14 teams in the RAK Municipality Tournament represents a government department, including immigration, police, municipal departments and water and electricity.

The municipality will play the first match of the tournament against the water and electricity department.

In the second match, the Department of Islamic Affairs will take on Immigration, last year's champions.

The games will run every night at Al Dhait Sports Hall until August 19, with a tournament break on August 15 and 16.

Midnight football is a Ramadan tradition across the country. Neighbourhoods come alive at night around makeshift sand pitches and car parks or at professional events like the Al Jazira Ramadan tournament in Abu Dhabi that will tempt the best teams in the Gulf to compete for a first-prize of Dh400,000.

The RAK Municipality Tournament promises amateur footballers a little of that glamour, and some of the wealth. The tournament, now in its fifth year, has traditionally offered generous prize money, but the organisers say they would prefer not to disclose this year's amount, just yet.

"We will have a big surprise this year," said an organiser from the municipality.

azacharias@thenational.ae