CAIRO - There are some aspirational prizes being doled out to winners of Ramadan tournaments in Egypt this week, with a team decked out in Liverpool's kit being awarded England's Premier League trophy for their success -- while another is set to receive UEFA Champions League silverware. Sort of.
In the Al-Hussainiya Youth Centre in Sharqia Governorate, about 100 kilometers from the birthplace of Mohamed Salah, a side wearing Liverpool's famous red shirts triumphed 5-1 over an outfit kitted out as Arsenal.
The losers were presented with a replica of the African Champions League trophy for their efforts.
"I bought the two cups from a friend who owns a sportswear store for two thousand Egyptian pounds ($65)," Ibrahim Abdel Salam, one of the organising committee, told Reuters.
Despite the matches being played in humble surroundings, and contested by friends rather than professionals -- or even amateur footballers -- the tournament created more buzz than most Egyptian league clashes.
"The grandstand consists of nearly 2,000 fans, in addition to about 350 seats and nearly 1,000 fans next to each goal," Abdel Salam explained, adding that hundreds were also watching from homes and balconies in the surrounding area.
The tournament had used a version of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) last year -- matches were filmed with mobile phones -- before scrapping it this Ramadan to save time.
But despite the tournament's buzz and popularity, it may not take place next year as the youth centre hosting the event wants to replace the playing surface with a swimming pool.
Teams raised banners with "No to demolishing the dirt court" during the tournament.
"There are two artificial turf courts, but we prefer the dirt court," Abdel Salam said.
Meanwhile in El-Beheira governorate the European Champions League trophy appeared up for grabs.
"The Ramadan tournaments have been held for six years, but this time we resorted to an innovative, spontaneous and simple idea, and a huge number of people interacted with it and we were caught by surprise," Mohamed Khalid, who created the idea with Ahmed Rashad, the owner of the playground in the village of Abu Hummus, told Reuters by phone.
"We wanted to reflect the atmosphere of the tournament through pictures of a number of village residents with the trophies in the middle of agricultural lands.
"We raised money from the registered teams to buy replicas of the famous cups," Khalid added, saying he hoped that Liverpool and Egypt striker Salah would see pictures of the tournament and share them with his online fans.
(Editing by Ossian Shine)