T&T’s head coach Stephen Hart will announce his squad in two weeks that will travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to take part in the inaugural four-nation OSN Cup.
The tournament is being organised by the Asia’s leading pay-TV network, OSN and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF).
Kick starting on September 5, the tournament will see national football teams from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, New Zealand and T&T vie for the coveted trophy.
David Butorac, CEO of OSN, said: “Football is the most popular sport in Saudi Arabia and across the Arab world. As a premium provider of world-class sports entertainment, we are now taking live sporting action to the next level. The OSN Cup is a tribute to our viewers and football fans across the region.
“The OSN Cup also supports the current focus of the Saudi Arabian authorities to promote football, a game in which the Kingdom has proved its excellence. By bringing together national and international talent, we promise some of the most exciting football action as well as the opportunity for the Saudi and UAE teams to take on international teams. We are thankful to the Saudi Arabian Football Federation for their fantastic support in organising what will be an exciting tournament.”
Ahmed Eid Al-Harbi, president of the Saudi Arabia Football Federation added: “Our goal is to promote the culture of football in the Kingdom, set more platforms for our talented team to demonstrate their skills and to encourage new talent to step forward and be proud participants in Saudi Arabia’s modern football history.
OSN Cup is a significant initiative as it brings international football talent to our country.
We are looking forward to some exciting matches that will delight true football fans and we thank OSN for organising this initiative which we are confident will be a mega success.”
OSN is a pay TV network in the Middle East and North Africa that offers international television entertainment content such as movies, sporting events, professional wrestling and various TV-series both locally produced as well as international premier TV-series.
OSN currently features around 100 television channels offering viewers the latest blockbuster movies, top rated series, sports, documentaries, news, kid’s entertainment, and live talk shows.
The OSN Platform is owned and operated by Panther Media Group Limited; a company registered in DIFC and is owned by Mawarid Group and KIPCO. The operational and corporate headquarters of the company is located in Dubai Media City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. More than 25,000 spectators are expected to watch the matches live, which will be held at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
“Our objective is to take the OSN Cup to the widest possible audience across the region,” added Butorac. “We have recorded robust growth in the Kingdom with total subscribers increasing by over 35 percent in 2012. As part of our growth plans, we will continue to look at diverse opportunities to engage with Saudis, bringing them the sports and entertainment experiences they love.”
TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee said that T&T’s appearance at the OSN Cup should serve as an opportunity to create further relationships with international partners.
“The invitation came to us earlier this year when it was felt that we were making strides in the region once again and particularly after our showing at the Gold Cup, there is even greater interest in T&T,” Tim Kee said.
“These international outings will provide us with opportunities to engage in discussions with potential global partners and already we have begun some dialogue in this regard. This will serve to help in some form with the different costs that we have to cover as it relates to our various national teams for international matches, competitions, training camps and staff.”
The T&T team, coming off its Gold Cup quarter-final showing, will assemble in London on September 1 before flying off to Riyadh for its opening game on September 5 against United Arab Emirates.
By Shaun Fuentes.
New Zealand are keen to face off with T&T as they prepare for their November World Cup playoffs with the fourth placed team from Concacaf for a place in the 2014 World Cup Finals.
New Zealand will join T&T, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in the four-nation tournament in Riyadh from September 5. T&T are scheduled to play the UAE and then possibly the winner or loser of the New Zealand/Saudi Arabia encounter.
New Zealand head coach Ricki Herbert is expecting either Panama or Honduras to be possible fourth place finishers from Concacaf and as a result is hoping to play T&T as a warm up.
The New Zealand Association have also indicated an interest in travelling to play T&T at home in October.
This will be T&T’s first international appearance since the Concacaf Gold Cup in July. The tournament in Riyadh, called the OSN Cup, is organised by Asia’s leading pay-TV network, OSN, and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF).
More than 25,000 spectators are expected to watch the matches live, which will be held at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium.