The Arabian Gulf Super Cup curtain raiser for the 2018-19 season will be held at the Egyptian capital Cairo on August 25.
The event will feature Arabian Gulf League champion and President’s Cup winners Al Ain and League runner-up Al Wahda.
The tournament has been taken out of the UAE shores to popularise the local league in the region, said Yousuf Mohammad Rasool Al Khouri, vice-president of the executive office of the Pro League Committee.
“We are once again taking the Super Cup to Cairo because we were happy with what we saw last time. There were around 20,000 spectators for the event when it was held there before. We feel it is good to explore new market,” said Al Khouri adding that, they have roped in Presentations Sport on board to facilitate the event in Cairo.
“It is essential that we brand UAE football outside our country as well. It will also play a key role in developing the relation between UAE and Egypt,” felt Al Khouri adding that the contest will be absorbing considering that one match would straightaway be handing over the season’s first title to the winner.
“It will be a derby clash as usual and both teams are well aware that they have an opportunity to begin the season by winning a title. We are expecting a keen contest and that will be great for the fans who will turn up in Cairo,” said Al Khouri.
Both teams have more or less the same squad from last year but will be missing the services of few of their U-23 national team players who will be on duty for the Asian Games in Jakarta.
Al Ain has not looked to tamper with their winning combination and have so far retained their entire squad, revealed board member Sultan Rashid Al Kalbani.
“We have not made any changes and have the same squad. We are very much looking forward to the clash. Currently, the boys are in a training camp and will be keen to do well against Al Wahda. We will miss a few players because of Asian Games but it is not at all a worry,” said Al Kalbani.
Al Wahda is looking for their fourth foreign signing and that they will be doing that very soon, revealed club representative Abdullah Ghaffar.
“We have a signing remaining and we are currently in the process of finalising that. Rest of the squad is pretty much the same. Once our last signing is done, we should be good to go for the rest of the season,” said Ghaffar.
By N. D. Prashant
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