Dubai Football Sevens teams

AC Milan and Arsenal join 1,800 to sign up for inaugural Dubai Football Sevens...

Nearly 1,800 players from more than 150 teams have already signed up for the inaugural Emirates Airline Dubai Football 7s which is due to kick off in March.

Managers of more than 150 amateur teams registered for the event less than 48 hours after English Premier League legend Ian Rush appeared in Dubai to launch the event.

The players will now be getting ready to rub shoulders with Rush and a host of other greats of the game who will be coming to the UAE for the event from March 11-13, news agency WAM reported on Sunday.

Rush, the former Liverpool and Juventus striker, said: "This phenomenal response proves how popular football is here. It shows that this tournament is going to be a huge focal point for the football community who for the first time will be brought together to play in one place.

"The hype is building with more players signing up for the legends event every day. Fans and players are going to be treated to a fantastic festival of football. I can't wait to get my boots on with my old Liverpool team-mates and face up to old foes like Arsenal and Manchester United again."

Rangers, Celtic and Chelsea will also feature in the six-team legends tournament, while AC Milan, Arsenal and Olympiacos will be among eight professional teams competing in the festive weekend of football.

Tournament director Jim Fitzsimons added: "The interest in participating in the first ever Emirates Airline Dubai Football 7s has been tremendous.

"This really will be a unique tournament in that it offers everyday, amateur footballers the opportunity of playing on the same pitches as some of the legends they have looked up to for many years.

"Places in the various sections of the amateur tournament are filling fast and so those wanting to take part are encouraged to get their entries in as soon as possible."

Based on the model of the Dubai Rugby Sevens, the amateur tournament will be divided into 12 different sections, from under-nine level right through to veterans.

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