O’s FIFA Quaran Team Cup is a huge success with global reach and thousands raised

Sam Sargeant ahead of his Quaran Team Cup game representing Leyton Orient (Pic: Leyton Orient)

Sam Sargeant ahead of his Quaran Team Cup game representing Leyton Orient (Pic: Leyton Orient) - Credit: Archant

Leyton Orient dubbed their FIFA Ultimate Quaran Team Cup a huge success after the tournament’s global reach and money raised for EFL clubs and selected charities.

The O’s set up a worldwide FIFA competition that saw clubs from across England’s top four divisions, as well as sides from France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and the USA all take part.

Wolves were eventually crowned champions after beating FC Groningen 2-1 in the final on Monday evening.

O’s media assistant Dan Walker said: “Having clubs from all around the world was huge. We were aiming for 32, probably mainly League One or League Two clubs, to get Premier League clubs, American clubs, to get teams from France, Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, Turkish and Australian teams, it showed the unity of football.

“I think it’s been a huge success to get that kind of global reach. I don’t think we’ve actually comprehended what we’ve done to be completely honest. When you talk about it, you realise that a little League Two club in east London, that’s no disrespect to the club itself but it’s huge to be making a difference and being at the forefront of world football.

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“We made that jump first and we should be really proud of that.”

Money was also raised for Football League clubs whose finances will be hit by suspension of the leagues due to the coronavirus pandemic, alongside two other charities (MIND and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fundraiser by WHO).

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More than £56,000 has been raised so far, helped by a £25,000 contribution by EFL sponsors Sky Bet.

Walker added: “Seventy-five per cent of the funds raised will be going to EFL clubs, that was something that came a couple days into it.

“We launched it on a Sunday, it took off overnight and we realised we had the world at our hands and just wondered how it could be best executed.

“Making it for a charity was a massive one as we know first hand how difficult it’s going to be for all football clubs. I think to be able to support all those EFL clubs so soon after returning to the Football League is massive and we should be proud of that.”

The whole idea came from some clubs playing connect four against each other online which inspired the O’s media team to start up the FIFA tournament.

“The idea of the whole FIFA Ultimate Quaran Team Cup, it essentially started from what teams were doing with connect four as there was teams from all over the world,” said Walker.

“I think it was Hull and Leverkusen went head-to-head in the game of connect four and we felt this could dramatically improve.

“To see it was quite engaging the first time, but after two or three times it could get quite boring, so we thought we needed something that already had that global reach.

“We initially intended to bring in 64 teams, but we probably expected 32, so to bring in 128 has been superb – we were delighted with that.

“First and foremost, we thought it would be good for fan engagement to produce some content for our supporters at a difficult time.

“Moving forward it has grown into something global and being able to raise funds for charity which has been a wonderful touch.”

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