(MENAFN Editorial) HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum attended the 6th Fazza International Wheelchair Basketball - IWBF West Asian Championship 2014 at the Al Ahli Club in Dubai to watch the UAE challenge Jordan in what was a spirited contest.
Earlier in the day, visitors Iraq and Kuwait displayed grit as they challenged Oman and Syria respectively, earning a qualifying berth at the semi finals of the competition.
The Fazza Wheelchair Basketball Championship which is now part of the IWBF West Asia Championship is being organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center and the Dubai Club for the Disabled under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
Iraqi coach Qusai Ghassani was pleased with his team's performance and their defense. He said: "Iraq has one of the strongest wheelchair basketball teams in Asia and we come with 15 years experience of the sport. We played to our strengths today, including a strong attack and defense. We expect the semi-finals will be a challenging contest and we look forward to performing to our best ability in the upcoming games and securing a position at the Asian Paralympic Games in Incheon."
Majid Abdullah Al Usaimi, Championship Director said: "We are proud and honored to have His Highness in our company today. His presence means a lot for the sport and for the UAE. We have seen several such visits from our leaders in the past, expressing interest in developing sports for the disabled and we are extremely grateful for their support."
Thani Juma Berregad, Chairman of the Dubai Club for the Disabled and head of the organising committee for the Fazza Championships for the Disabled added: "We witnessed some great action over two days as teams battled it out to earn a spot in the semi-finals. The teams have spent months training for this event and the atmosphere here at the Al Ahli Club has been electric."
A total of 170 athletes and officials from eight countries are participating in the Championship including host nation the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Ibrahim Abdul Rahim, director of events at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center said: "His Highness' visit inspired the UAE team as they competed against Jordan today and we are all hopeful they will make us proud in the coming days.
"The Dubai Club for the Disabled has always attracted high-level sports and this is reflected in this year's edition of the Championship. The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center will continue to support sports for the disabled and contribute to enhancing Dubai's appeal as a favoured destination for sporting and cultural events."