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UAE 2019 community ambassadors celebrated at special awards evening

Abu Dhabi: As the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 nears its thrilling finale, the tournament has already seen its first silverware lifted, with community ambassadors celebrated at a special awards evening.

The ‘Playmakers’ have collectively brought more than 500,000 people from different communities together over recent months, encouraging support for the biggest-ever Continental showpiece during the four-week tournament.

Spanning across Asia, from Jordan to Japan, Saudi Arabia to Korea Republic, more than 600 community ambassadors have been at work to spread the passion and excitement of football, which has seen large numbers of fans travel thousands of miles to showcase their support for their nations.

Celebrating the success of the Playmakers and their roles as community ambassadors, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) hosted the special awards ceremony on the popular fanzone at the Corniche, Abu Dhabi.

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The top five Playmakers were recognised for their unrivalled contributions to their communities, receiving complimentary flights from Emirates Holidays to go to any destination of their choice from among the 24competing countries in the tournament.

Tran The Tam from Vietnam was handed the top prize as star Playmaker, winning flights to the value of Dhs10,000 and he commented: “I live in the UAE and never had the opportunity to watch a Vietnam match before, so witnessing them live here in the AFC Asian Cup was very exciting.

“I had the opportunity to share this excitement amongst many others from Vietnam and the last few months have been brilliant. To win the prize is great too and I have loved being a Playmaker.”

Shervin Shadpour, from Uzbekistan, who at 11 years of age is the youngest Playmaker, added: “I love playing football and have enjoyed the Playmakers events and meeting new people. I have told my friends at school about the AFC Asian Cup too and how cool it is.”

The Playmakers come from over 20 different countries, with many of them based in the UAE. There is still time for fans to see live action as the tournament reaches the semi-final stages before one nation is crowned the champions of Asia on Friday.

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