EMIRATES Airlines were today unveiled as the new sponsors of the Scottish Junior Cup.

In a major coup for Junior football, the SJFA's glamour tournament will be backed by the Dubai-based long-haul company in "a substantial investment" over the next two years with an option to extend the deal further.

News of the lucrative and historic deal came in a joint announcement ahead of the first-round draw which was made today at Hampden by Emirates sales manager Denise Holmes, Brian Donohoe MP and SFA chief executive Gordon Smith.

Laurie Berryman, Emirates' area manager UK north, said: "We are very excited about this affiliation with the Scottish Junior Cup.

"This new sponsorship reaffirms Emirates' commitment to operating in Scotland since we first started a daily Glasgow-Dubai service in 2004.

"We hope that the agreement will offer long-term sustainability to this historic tournament which provides a much-needed platform for grassroots football in Scotland to flourish."

The tie-in is a major coup for the Junior game in Scotland following the end of the previous deal with Scottish Citylink.

Tom Johnston, secretary of the Scottish Junior FA, said: "We are delighted Emirates has agreed a sponsorship deal which will allow us to build on what is recognised as one of the best known football competitions in the country.

"To be associated with an international brand such as Emirates is a tremendous boost to our game and their involvement is greatly appreciated."

The Dubai-based airline has signed up to some of the biggest sponsorship deals in world football.

It has been named as an official partner with Fifa for the World Cup until 2014.

And its landmark multi-million link-up with Arsenal in 2004 was hailed as the biggest sponsorship in English football history.

In addition to the Fly Emirates logo on the players' shirts, Emirates also has naming rights of Arsenal's home, the Emirates Stadium.

Elsewhere, the airline sponsors Paris Saint Germain, Hamburg AC Milan and Olympiacos.

Its vast array of sporting links also extends to golf, cricket, rugby and horse racing.

So it is that level of sporting expertise that Emirates will now bring to the Scottish Junior Cup, one of the game's oldest competitions.

The first final was held back in 1887. The current holders are Auchinleck Talbot who beat Clydebank 2-1 in this year's final.



Johnstone Burgh v Lochee Harp

Harthill Royal v Camelon Juniors

Bellshill Athletic v Culter JFC

Glenafton Athletic v Kilbirnie Ladeside

Stonehaven v Livingston United

Lossiemouth United v Arbroath Vics

Newmains United v Banchory St Ternan

Oakley United v Sunnybank

Inverness City v Kelty Hearts

Kirkcaldy YMCA v Jeanfield Swifts

Troon v Benburb FC

Beith v Cumbernauld United

Rutherglen Glencairn v Luncarty

Pollok v Kirriemuir Thistle

Greenock v Whitburn

Scone Thistle v Parkvale

Edinburgh United v Penicuik Athletic

Aberdeen East End v Shettleston

Whitehills v Forfar Albion

Lugar Boswell Thistle v Glenrothes

Kinnoull v Hill of Beath Hawthorn

Bankfoot Athletic v Irvine Meadow XI

New Elgin v Auchinleck Talbot

Bonnyrigg Rose v Dunbar United

East Kilbride Thistle v Cruden Bay

Crossgates Primrose v Dufftown

The Spartans FC v Larkhall Thistle

Largs Thistle v Coupar Angus

Hermes v Whitletts Victoria

Banks o' Dee v Blantyre Victoria

Dundee East Craigie v Carnoustie Panmure