An Emirati TV anchor has gone on a rant after the UAE’s under-16 football team were drawn in Qatar’s group in an Asian qualifying tournament beginning in Doha tomorrow.
Adnan Hamad, a well-known sports presenter with Dubai Sports, repeatedly used the term “rogue country” for Qatar, wondering how the UAE could send their team to such a place for the tournament.
In his monologue he expressed his anguish at the way the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) drew the UAE in the same group as Qatar and even lashed out at the UAE football authorities for failing to prevent the situation.
The draw puts Qatar, the UAE, Bangladesh and Yemen in Group E, but the Emiratis are now most likely to miss the event, ironically, because of their own boycott of Qatar.
Hamad also said the money spent on the preparing the Emirati team for the tournament has gone down the drain because the UAE’s request to change their group has been shot down by the AFC.
The UAE, in case the no-show is confirmed, could face stiff penalties, including a possible ban.
According to the current schedule, the UAE are supposed to take on Bangladesh at 4.45pm tomorrow at the Grand Hamad Stadium.
On the same day, Yemen will clash with Qatar.
The tournament continues on September 22 when Bangladesh meet Yemen and Qatar play the UAE.
On September 24, the UAE will meet Yemen while Qatar play Bangladesh.
The 10 group winners and five best second-placed teams will advance to the finals to be played in Malaysia next year.
Text edited by Albawaba
© Gulf Times Newspaper 2019