The AGL season was suspended in mid-March due to the coronavirus.
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
The new Arabian Gulf League (AGL) season is likely to kick off in September, it was confirmed by the UAE Pro League after a meeting with the UAEFA.
The Arabian Gulf Cup (AGC) matches on Sept 3 are likely set the ball rolling, which will be followed by AGL matches either on Sept 8 or 9, but the final dates are yet to be announced.
The Pro League and UAEFA held a meeting to discuss the kick-off date and calendar for the new season. The proposals have been sent to the 14 participating clubs and broadcasters but the final dates will be announced later.
“We pondered over to start the new season on Sept3 with Arabian Gulf Cup (AGC) matches followed by AGL matches on the following week on Sept8 or 9 but the final dates will be decided after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) releases the Asian Champions League (ACL) fixtures later this month,” a Pro League spokesperson told Gulf Today.
Clearing the doubts about the Arabian Gulf Super Cup — the traditional curtain raiser — and the Arabian Gulf Cup, the spokesperson asserted: “The season will get under way with Arabian Gulf Cup matches not the Arabian Gulf Super Cup like the last two years.
We did not get the season under way with the Arabian Gulf Super Cup last season and before that also.”
Earlier, the AGL season was suspended in mid-March due to the coronavirus, which brought the whole sporting fraternity across the globe to a grinding halt.
In a major overhaul, the UAE Pro League general assembly decided to suspend the relegation, coronation and promotion system for the current season.
The cancellation of the league with seven rounds to spare, in the wake of coronavirus, prompted the decision to suspend the relegation, promotion and crowning a new champion for the 2019-20 season.
The last three teams in the standings at the end of the season are relegated to the first division every year.
When the league was stopped Khorfakkan, Hatta and Fujairah were in the drop zone Khorfakkan were on 12th spot in the standing followed by Hatta and Fujairah in 13th and 14th places respectively.
While on the top of the standings, Shabab Al Ahli were leading the pack with 43 points followed by Al Ain in second and Al Jazira in third with 37 and 36 points respectively.
Battle for the ACL had already heated up with just two points separating four teams. However, it was already decided earlier, if the league is not completed ACL berths would be decided according to last season’s standings.
Various reasons were cited by the Pro League, which prompted the decision to abort the tournament such as health and safety of the players and to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
It was also cited, the decision issued by FIFA preventing clubs from registering new players to replace those unwilling to extend their contracts until the end of the 2019-20 season, would result in most clubs having incomplete squads and create an inequal opportunities between competing clubs.
Meanwhile, UAEFA in partnership with the Pro League and the International Sports Convention (ISC), will organise a webinar, which is titled ‘Covid-19 and football, how to shape a new future,’ on Wednesday.
The webinar will be attended by the eminent personalities of the football fraternity from across the globe including AFC President Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Dato Windsor John, general secretary of the AFC The conference is the first of its kind in the Middle East, and will be led by Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, President of the UAEFA.
The conference, which starts at two o’clock according to the the UAE time includes a presentation by Nigel Fletcher, Executive Director of the (ISC); followed by the opening speech by Sheikh Rashid and a speech by Sheikh Salman.
She is Modhi Al Ali, a young Emirati girl who has become part of Manchester City FC’s global campaign to get more women playing football.
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