UAE to resume World Cup qualifiers campaign on Oct.8 - GulfToday

UAE to resume World Cup qualifiers campaign on Oct.8


Mohamed Abdullah Hazam Al Dhaheri attends a videoconference with AFC officials.

Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter

The UAE will resume their campaign for the joint qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in October, it was announced by the UAE Football Association on Wednesday.

Mohamed Abdullah Hazam Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of the Emirates Football Association (UAEFA), confirmed the resumption of qualifying matches in October and November after a remote meeting with top Asian Football Confederation (AFC) officials via video calling on Wednesday.

The meeting was held in the presence of Shan Mangel, Director of Competitions at AFC, and Taha Ezzat, Director of Competitions and Operations Department in Emirates Professional League, along with representatives of a number of national federations and officials of the companies sponsoring the Asian Championships.

Hazam added that the AFC, after coordinating with the FIFA, decided to complete the joint qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in October and November. The UAE will play two home matches on Oct.8 and 13 which will be followed by two away games on Nov.12 and 17, 2020.

The qualifiers were stopped in the wake of pandemic coronavirus in mid-March. The UAE were at a crucial point when the joint qualifiers were postponed indefinitely in March after the virus wreaked havoc across the globe.

The UAE, who are at the fourth spot in their group, were supposed to take on Malaysia and Indonesia on March 26 and 31 respectively in home fixtures. While in the away matches, they were to face Thailand and Vietnam on June 4 and 9 respectively when the competition came to a standstill. Regarding the completion of remaining 99 matches of the Asian Champions League, thee proposals were made which suggested the dates in September, October and November, informed Dhaheri.

The dates have not been finalised yet and will be decided later but the aim is to complete the fixtures before the Club World Cup in December, which is to be held in Doha.

The Secretary-General of the Football Association stated that the AFC decided to postpone the Asian Cup U-16 finals scheduled in the Kingdom of Bahrain to next September. The tournament was supposed to be held from Nov.25 to Dec.12, 2020. It also decided to host the Asian Futsal Clubs Championship in Dubai from Dec.2 to 13, 2020. With football resuming all over the world gradually, AFC bosses also want to resume the beautiful game in the continent.

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