Asian Football Festival

Everton are lending their support to a special celebration of Asian Football which is taking place in Liverpool in September.

The AsiaEurope Football Festival is to showcase the best Asian players in the UK, in Liverpool, from September 27-28, and has already attracted the interest of scouts from every Premier League football club as well as European giants Real Madrid.

Premier League coaches will be holding sessions on both days, which will be held at the Heron Eccles playing field in the Allerton area of the city and available to everyone.

Plans are already in place to create the first Asian football academy in Liverpool by 2004 to capitalise on the event.

Organisers, AsiaEurope.com, have excited the games big names by inviting the winners of every mini-Asian tournament of the past three years to compete for what will be the first recognised national trophy.

Supported by the FA, the PFA, Liverpool city council as well as Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City and United, the festival will also include a women's football tournament, free coaching sessions to the general public as well as how to register for courses in refereeing and coaching.

Already more than 100 women and men's teams have registered, with the deadline for entries not due until September 16.

The festival will be officially launched on August 8 - at Liverpool Town Hall, where organisers will reveal plans for an annual International tournament, which will go on tour to the Middle East in the New Year and Africa over Easter before returning back to Liverpool in the summer.

Councillor Warren Bradley, Executive Member for Leisure and Culture, said: "We are delighted AsiaEurope has decided to base this festival in the city. It adds further weight to our claim to be The World In One City, where colour, creed, faith and religion is not just tolerated but celebrated.

"The city prides itself on its pioneering role in football - we invented goal nets, launched the UK's first disabled football academy and is England's most successful footballing city. This festival is the next logical step.

"The infrastructure in the city and the long term plans to help this tournament grow will be a major boost for our Year of Sport in 2006 and our year as European Capital of Culture in 2008.

"Sport has a major role to play in our culture, it breaks down barriers. Involving the Asian and Ethnic communities is arguably the final barrier football faces in the UK."

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