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Clubs join FIFA Ultimate Team tournament during football’s coronavirus hiatus

The tournament was dreamed up by Leyton Orient and has attracted clubs including Manchester City, Roma and Benfica.

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(Chris Radburn/PA)

(Chris Radburn/PA)

(Chris Radburn/PA)

Football fans will have somewhere to focus their attention after 128 clubs signed up to take part in a huge FIFA Ultimate Team tournament.

With football shut down indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic, teams from up and down the football pyramid, as well as leagues including Italy’s Serie A, Holland’s Eredivisie and MLS in North America, signed up to play the popular video game.

The knockout tournament, dubbed Ultimate QuaranTeam, was the brainchild of Sky Bet League Two side Leyton Orient, who tweeted on Sunday evening: “Sure, connect four is cool but we’ve got a better idea!

“We need 63 other teams to enter a knock-out FIFA 20 tournament. To enter, all we need is the club to RT this tweet.”

By Monday afternoon, the tweet had been liked more than 10,000 times and the scope of the tournament had doubled as MLS’s Orlando City and Serie A’s Roma signed up as the 127th and 128th teams.

They joined clubs including Manchester City, Newcastle and Wolves from the Premier League, Championship promotion hopefuls Leeds, West Brom and Brentford, as well as Motherwell, Hibernian and Hamilton from the Scottish Premiership.

Teams from around Europe getting involved included PSV Eindhoven, Marseille, Fiorentina, Hamburg, Benfica and Celta Vigo, alongside the League of Ireland’s Dundalk, Waterford and Cork.

Leyton Orient’s near namesakes from France Lorient also got involved.

According to Orient, each team was free to choose who would represent them, whether it be a player or a fan, but the club must play as themselves.

Orient, who on Monday evening closed their offices following the latest government advice, said the draw for the first round of the tournament would be held on Wednesday.

PA Media