Gulf News - 23/5/2006
The UAE will be supporting Saudi Arabia when they compete at the 2006 Fifa World Cup finals in Germany next month as they are the sole representative for the GCC and Arab countries.
This was announced by UAE FA President Yousuf Yaqoub Al Sarkal at the end of the GCC FA extraordinary meeting yesterday at the Dubai Marriott hotel.
Al Sarkal claimed that the meeting was a successful one and that the FA Presidents discussed many issues concerning the 18th Gulf Cup which will be held in the UAE, in January 2007.
"We agreed in the meeting for the opening of the tournament to be on January 17 in Abu Dhabi. Also we agreed to cancel the third place playoff, which is of no use for the teams who lost in the semifinals," said Al Sarkal.
The UAE FA President said that the meeting did not discuss the organising of the other sports basketball, volleyball, handball in the 18th edition as it was held in the last Gulf Cup in Doha in 2004.
"We did not discuss it and it will be under the organising committee to decide whether to include it or not," he added.
Al Sarkal said the GCC FAs Presidents agreed to release the national team players of the GCC countries, who play as professionals in some GCC clubs.
"To make the 18th Gulf Cup a success, we agreed to free the players from their clubs whenever their national teams need them," he said.
"We also agreed to give them as the same treatment the associations give their own national team players."