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Wed 25 Apr 2007 02:52 PM

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'For Soccer' kicks off in Dubai

The major European football agency opens its first Mideast branch.

Middle Eastern football clubs can now join ventures with one of the world's leading football recruitment agencies as For Soccer opens its Dubai branch today.

The European company will now run its Middle East operations from the emirate in a bid to set up long-term partnerships between UAE and European football clubs.

"[For Soccer] is renowned for establishing partnerships with football clubs worldwide. One of our main missions is to discover talented new players who have what it takes to play for European leagues," said Raul Silva, managing partner at For Soccer Middle East.

He referred to Salah Mohammed Humaida, who was signed up recently during the Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum Tournament in Dubai.

For Soccer has recruited players for major clubs such as FC Porto, AC Milan and Manchester United.

The company's core activities in the Middle East will be to manage soccer players' careers and provide technical assistance to clubs. It also supports clubs in international games and training internships.

Twenty-six football clubs - each with about 150 players - are currently affiliated with the UAE Football Association (UAE FA), which joined FIFA in 1972.

The UAE national team are the 2007 Arabian Gulf Cup champions and announced earlier this month that the team will be holding a training camp in Malaysia this summer to prepare for the upcoming Asian Cup finals.

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