AGL champions Sharjah to start title defence against Khorfakkan - GulfToday

AGL champions Sharjah to start title defence against Khorfakkan


Officials pose with the people of determination after the draw.

The UAE Pro League conducted on Thursday the draw for the 2019-20 Arabian Gulf League (AGL) and Arabian Gulf Cup AGC). The draw was held at the press conference hall at Al Nasr Club’s Al Maktoum Stadium.

Arabian Gulf Cup champions Shabab Al Ahli were placed on top of Group A of the competition, while Arabian Gulf League champions Sharjah were placed in pot 1 of Group B.

The draw produced seven big clashes in the opening matchday, spearheaded by a Bur Dubai Derby between Al Nasr and Al Wasl. Sharjah start their title defence in a derby of the Emirate against newly promoted Khorfakkan, while Shabab Al Ahli host Hatta.

Al Ain face Ittihad Kalba, Al Jazira play Al Dhafra, Fujairah face Al Wahda and Bani Yas are pitted against Ajman.

The first group included Al Ain, Al Jazira, Al Nasr, Al Dhafra, Ittihad Kalba, Khorfakkan alongside Shabab Al Ahli, while the second group brought Bani Yas, Al Wahda, Ajman, Al Wasl, Hatta and Fujairah in addition to Sharjah.

Matchweek 1 of the Arabian Gulf Cup sees strong fixtures, with Shabab Al Ahli starting their title defence against Al Ain, while Al Jazira face newly promoted Khorfakkan. Al Nasr face Ittihad Kalba, while Arabian Gulf League winners Sharjah play Bani Yas, Al Wahda face Fujairah and Ajman play Hatta.

Attending the draw was Marwan bin Ghalita, President of the UAE Football Association, His Excellency Abdulla Naser Al Junaibi, Vice-President of the UAE FA, Chairman of the PLC, members of the PLC Executive Office and representatives of professional clubs and media.

The draw saw participation from Emirati champions of the UAE special Olympics hosted by the country earlier this year; Hamda Al Hosani, Aisha Saif, Zayed Al Ameri and Saleh Al Marri.

At the start of the event, the PLC played a video explaining in detail the mechanisms of the draw for both competitions and the criteria set by the PLC to ensure fair chances and distribution of the strong matches throughout the season.

The draw for the Arabian Gulf Cup was conducted first, executed by people of determination guests of honour accompanied by  Ahmed Al Bahri Al Hammadi and Jamal Al Marri, members of the PLC Executive Office.

Next up was the Arabian Gulf League draw, conducted by Yousef Mohammed Rasool Khoory, Vice President of the PLC Executive Office, Abdulhameed Al Mestaka, member of the Executive Council, Chairman of the Technical Committee. Participating in the draw were Special Olympics Champions of determination.

At the end of the draw ceremony, Bin Ghalita and Al Junaibi honoured the people of determination heroes who attended as guests of honour in appreciation of their efforts. The mother of heroine Hamda Al Hosani was also honoured.

Meanwhile, many clubs have bolstered their squad with new signings.  

Al Jazira appointed Jurgen Streppel as their new first-team football head coach after reaching an agreement with the Dutchman.

The 49-year-old will officially start his new role next month when he meets the players for the first time in Abu Dhabi before the squad travels to the Netherlands for a three-week summer training camp ahead of the new campaign.

Streppel brings a lot of experience to Al Jazira having been in the game for nearly three decades. His playing career saw him represent RKC Waalwijk and Helmond Sport in his homeland before taking up coaching following his retirement in 2005.

Al Ain announce deals for two of Africa’s fastest-emerging players. Diminutive Algerian winger Abderrahmane Meziane helped inspire USM Alger’s first Ligue Professionnelle 1 title in three seasons, while Togo forward Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba was the eight-goal leading marksman in the 2018/19 CAF Confederation Cup with Morocco’s RS Berkane.

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