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Platini to attend ceremony

UEFA president Michel Platini will be among high-ranking football officials coming to Bahrain to attend the opening ceremony of the 21st Gulf Cup on Saturday.

The 57-year-old former French football star is scheduled to arrive in Bahrain on Saturday along with a number of Uefa representatives, Olympic Council of Asia president Shaikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah of Kuwait and other senior sports officials.

The Gulf Cup is a tournament not officially recognised by Fifa, but steps have been taken to make the competition official, such as the presence of powerful people in football, such as Fifa president Sepp Blatter and Platini.

As for the GCC teams taking part, Yemen will be the first delegation to arrive in Bahrain, tomorrow.

Delegations of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, Kuwait and Iraq will reach the kingdom on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the organising committee has completed recording songs of the opening ceremony, to be held at the National Stadium in Riffa.

Some of the Gulf region's most famous singers will be performing live at the stadium, including Hussain Al Jasmi of the UAE, Bahrain's Ahmed Al Hermi and Rashid Al Majid of Saudi Arabia.

These songs were recorded in Studio "Al Layali" in Bahrain, Studio "Fayez Al Saeed Sound" in Dubai and Studio "Hatim".

Tournament director Ahmed Al Nuaimi said free tickets will be given away to each GCC football federation, who in turn will hand them over to their respective supporters attending the matches.

Al Nuaimi said additional tickets will be made available for the Bahrain Football Association, national clubs and other parties as part of the national campaign 'Bahrain: One Heart' to support the Bahrain national team in the tournament.

Media Committee chairman Tawfeeq Al Salhi, along with media staff, visited the Media Centres at the National Stadium to distribute their duties and review latest preparations.

During the visit, Al Salhi explained all the communication facilities which will be available at these centres like laptops, fast internet connections as well as printing and fax machines.

Media monitoring specialist Rena Shahin said the tournament has been given wide publicity, affirming that more than 1,600 news copies were published with four days remaining for kick-off.

In the same context, Shahin said more than 250 news items were distributed on the local and regional press as well as to the news websites.

She pointed that there is excellent co-operation between the media agencies and the media committee of the tournament.

The director of the tournament's official website (www.gulfcup21.bh), George Al Hani, noted that the website will provide live broadcast for seminars, workshop and events related to the tournament.

TV stations from across the Gulf have already stepped up their preparations to provide exceptional broadcasting coverage of the competition.

Al Kass Sports Channel of Qatar has set up its own studio at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Seef District for its famous daily TV programme 'Al Majles'.

The channel has also prepared additional studios at the National Stadium in Riffa and Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Isa Town, which will be the venue for the matches.



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