India, 16 December 2023 – CapitaLand Investment’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), organized the sixth edition of its Futsal tournament, the Diplomatic Premier League. The tournament saw Chennai’s diplomatic community coming together for this year’s coveted title. The tournament was organized in association with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency. The trophy unveiling ceremony was attended by Ms Margriet Veenma, Deputy Chief Mission, UNHCR, Mr Vincent Miccolis, Managing Director, Middle East, Africa, Turkey, India The Ascott Limited, Ms Shalini Ajith, Mr K Saravana Kumar, Consul General of Malaysia, Mr Edgar Pang, Consul General of Singapore, Mr Chang Nyun Kim, Consul General of South Korea, Mr Abdul Ekram from Australian Trade & Investment Commission along with other distinguished figures from the diplomatic community.
Speaking at the event, Vincent Miccolis, Managing Director, Middle East, Africa, Turkey, India The Ascott Limited said, “In the vibrant tapestry of sports, the Diplomatic Premier League weaves a story of diversity, diplomacy, and unity. As the consulates of nations and honorary consuls join hands with the UNHCR team, this tournament becomes a testament to the transformative power of sports, fostering inclusivity and promoting fitness and harmony. In the spirit of unity, we have also a team from a refugee camp. Through sports, let’s celebrate diversity, resilience and our shared commitment to empower the refuge community.”
Commenting on the initiative, Ms Margriet Veenma, Deputy Chief Mission, UNHCR said: “I am honored to witness the sixth edition of Diplomatic Premier League, a powerful convergence of sports and diplomacy orchestrated by The Ascott Limited. This event not only showcases the spirit of competition but also underscores the importance of unity and inclusivity, symbolized by the association with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Through the language of sports, we celebrate diversity, resilience, and the shared commitment towards empowering the refugee community.”
Mr Anup Kumar, Director of Sales and Marketing, The Ascott Limited said, “I have been a part of this initiative since its inception, and we have witnessed the tremendous growth and engagement received over the years. It is delightful to see the increase in awareness amongst the diplomatic community and a steady growth in the participating teams. The Diplomatic Premiere League is equally attracting more time and support from the audience, boosting our commitment to keep the journey ahead.”
The primary goal of the Diplomatic Premier League (DPL) is to promote physical fitness and foster camaraderie among the diplomatic community based in Chennai. Furthermore, it aims to raise awareness about the challenges faced by refugees who are forcibly displaced from their homelands. The event serves as a platform to shed light on the refugee crisis and encourages collaborative efforts to address these issues in the future.
After an exciting competition amongst ten teams from Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Germany, Italy, Tamil Nadu Civil Services and UNHCR refugee’s team. This year, UNHCR team were declared the champions of Diplomatic Premier League 2023. Japan secured the 1st runner up position and Italy secured the 2nd runner up position. Vibhishin from the UNHCR team was adjudged as the best player of the tournament. The event was cohosted by Dr. Yashwanth Honorary Consul El Salvador at Whistle Urban Sports Hub, Nungambakkam.