The final line-up for the inaugural MSC Cup has been confirmed, with football teams from across the industry set to battle it out at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge stadium on May 22.

A number of nail-biting clashes will take place at the eight-team tournament, with money raised from entry fees and sponsorship going to industry charity Reuben’s Retreat.

The opportunity to hold the tournament at Stamford Bridge came after MSC Cruises was unveiled as Chelsea FC’s official global cruise partner in January. The event is being held in association with Travel Weekly as it attempts to raise £50,000 for five children’s charities in its 50th year.

A total of 16 teams entered, but with only eight places available.

The final line-up has been confirmed as:

• Cruise118
• dnata UK
• MSC Cruises
• The Travel Network Group
• Thomas Cook
• Travel Weekly

Teams will consist of seven players from a squad of 10.

Stuart Parish, Travel Weekly managing director, said: “We were overwhelmed by the response to the inaugural MSC Cup, which has already raised £20,000 for a fantastic cause.

“We would like to thank everyone who applied to take part and look forward to a hard-fought battle between our eight confirmed finalists.”

Full coverage will appear in Travel Weekly following the tournament. Additional sponsorship opportunities include event catering and the matchday programme. For more information, email

About Reuben’s Retreat

reubensretreatReuben’s Retreat aims to provide a retreat in the northwest of England that will relieve the distress of families and their close friends who have suffered the bereavement of a child or have a child suffering from a life-limiting or life-threatening illness.

Services include counselling, support groups, activity and therapy days, short breaks for children and bereavement breaks.

The charity was founded in 2012 by travel industry professionals Nicola and Mike Graham after the death of their son Reuben from a rare brain tumour.

Nicola said: “Reuben’s Retreat will be built on an army of love and compassionate hearts. There’s no greater love than seeing our incredible industry come together to create more magic for our project.

“Seeing friends old and new rally in support of our cause, spearheaded by our new and exciting partnership with MSC Cruises and supported by our loyal friends at Travel Weekly, is fantastic.

“The difference this will make to our cause is amazing and it comes at a time when we are embarking on the next three very important phases of our 10-phase vision, propelling our vital support work to a whole new level.

“To our supporters, thank you for believing in us, it means more than you could ever know.”

MoreTravel football teams to bid for MSC Cup glory

Video: MSC Cruises partners with Chelsea Football Club