Players contested FIFA 20 at the tournament ©FISU

Oman's Amran Al Dhuhli and Saudi Arabia's Najd Fahad claimed victory at the inaugural International University Sports Federation (FISU) eSports Challenge Football tournament.

The competition was the first virtual event in FISU's 70-year history and saw 32 male and 12 female players contest FIFA 20 on the Playstation 4 console.

More than 30 universities from all five continents were represented in the event, which took place over eight days.

Al Dhuhli, from the Modern College of Business and Science, defeated Iran's Masih Mohafezatkar of the Qazvin University of Medical Sciences in the men's final.

After a 2-2 draw, the Omani triumphed via a golden goal.

Oman's Amran Al Dhuhli won the men's event ©FISU
Oman's Amran Al Dhuhli won the men's event ©FISU

Fahad, of the Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, eased home 8-0 in the women's final against Brazil's Alexssandra Batista, from UniAteneu.

"I'm very glad about this historic day for myself, my family, my friends and country," Al Dhuhli said.

"Today I can't sleep and I will remember this day forever.

"I'm so very happy and will look to celebrate."

The tournament took place amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has curtailed traditional sport and prompted many governing bodies to move online.

"This period of the COVID-19 crisis has not been without its share of silver linings," said FISU President Oleg Matytsin.

"Despite being a challenging time, it has also been a time of learning and innovation.

"Our team at FISU found new ways to connect with university students worldwide, through virtual challenges and e-tournaments.

"The 2020 FISU eSports Challenge Football was a means for us to gauge the global appeal of virtual sport among university students. 

Saudi Arabia's Najd Fahad was the women's champion ©FISU
Saudi Arabia's Najd Fahad was the women's champion ©FISU

"As the driver of the global university sport movement, it is our responsibility to keep pace with changing times and ensure we have a finger on the pulse of the youth."

FISU secretary general and chief executive Eric Saintrond added: "It was a successful pilot project, one that we will evaluate before considering future actions in this direction.

"I would like to thank all the member federations that fielded participants, as some of them even held national and continental qualifiers to choose their representatives.

"I congratulate not only the winners, but all participants for being part of this successful first edition of the 2020 FISU eSports Challenge."