(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The Qatar Foundation (QF) and FC Barcelona (FCB) met on the field for the first time since their partnership began a year ago.
The friendly but heated game that ended with a 3-1 win for FC Barcelona on Friday was played at the Qatar Academy football pitch.
The QF All-Stars, a team of students from the QF education family including Qatar Academy, Qatar Leadership Academy and The Learning Center, came face to face with FCB's Under 17 team.
The FCB and many other international clubs have sent their youth team to Doha to compete in the inaugural Al Kass International Cup U-17 currently taking place on the outdoor football fields at Aspire Zone.
"It has been a great experience to play here at Qatar Foundation and to meet our partners," FCB's coach Javier Garcia said in a meeting with the QF players following the friendly game.
"The teams that we met in the Al Kass tournament and in this friendly match with Qatar Foundation are strong and good. There is a lot of potential" Garcia said and highlighted the importance of training, hard work and leading a healthy lifestyle to improve and become the best.
Recognising that sports is a way to reach millions around the world and raise global awareness and understanding about important issues, QF partnered with the FCB at the start of the season in an effort to bring about a positive change, unite cultures and encourage a healthy lifestyle.
"Sports give a sense of national pride and unity while also appealing to youth, and messages sent through sports can have an everlasting impact on the individual and the community," said Dr Gregory A Hedger, director of Qatar Academy.
"This game is only a small example of this. After the game, the two teams met and shared a little about each other. The interaction between the players on the two teams was enthusiastic and educational - a first step in raising cultural understanding."
"It felt great that FCB came to Qatar Foundation to play a match with us," said Ali al-Thani, the QF team captain, and senior at Qatar Academy. "It showed that Barcelona as a club and as people are respectful, and interested to know more about us. As captain of the QF team, I am very proud - we are not as skillful or experienced as the FCB team, but we have a lot of heart, and we played well."
Qatar Foundation's partnership with FC Barcelona is the result of a sponsorship agreement reached between Qatar Sports Investment and the club, bringing increased focus on sports and youth development to Qatar.
The partnership allows the QF logo to be displayed on the team's jerseys - thus bringing the organisation worldwide attention.
For both organisations the partnership represents more than just the logo. It opens the door for QF and FC Barcelona to work on joint projects to develop society and unlock human potential. QF will also work with FCB Foundation to develop programmes for Catalonia and the Middle East that reach out to youth in need.