Football season set to start early in UAE
Early start to UAE football season
The next UAE football season will have an advanced start with the Arabian Gulf Super Cup being held on August 15.
The plan for the new season was announced following a series of meetings of the joint committee consisting of officials from the UAE Football Association (UAE FA) and Pro League Committee (PLC), late on Thursday. UAE national team coach Mahdi Ali was a crucial part of the deliberations due to the important assignments of the national squad, including the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and qualifiers for the 2018 Fifa World Cup.
After the one-off Arabian Gulf Super Cup is held on August 15 between the AGL champions and President’s Cup winners, the opening round of the 2015-’16 Arabian Gulf League will take place over three days from August 20-22.
However, after the first round matches, the league will take a 19-day break due to national team commitments.
The joint committee has decided to utilise this Fifa break to accommodate the first two rounds of the Arabian Gulf Cup. The first round of matches will be played on August 27-28 and the second round on September 4-5. The AGL will then resume with second round matches on September 11-12.
The Arabian Gulf Cup final has been scheduled for March 25, while the AGL will conclude with the final round on May 21, 2016.
This time around, the PLC has made a conscientious effort to avoid some niggles and issues experienced in the fixtures’ programming of the current season.
The joint committee decided that no matches will be held on the first three days of Eid Al Adha, while clubs have been given a one-month window between Eid Al Fitr and the start of the season in order to undertake their preseason preparations.
Allowances have also been made to enable international players to join up with their clubs’ camps and the potential progression of UAE sides in continental competitions has been accounted for with the proposal of alternative match days.
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