Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Crowd prospects brighten with Wahda's good start

If the size of the crowd for the 3-0 victory over Hekari United is an indication, total attendance in Abu Dhabi could be up more than 25,000 over last year.

When asked what local organisers could do to improve attendance at the 2010 Club World Cup, Chuck Blazer, a Fifa executive committee member, was terse. "Have the home team play better," he said.

So far, Al Wahda have delivered, and if the size of the crowd for the Pro League side's 3-0 victory over Hekari United on Wednesday is an indication, total attendance in Abu Dhabi could be up more than 25,000 on last year.

The crowd for Wahda's opening match was 23,895, more than 9,000 ahead of the number who saw Al Ahli of the Pro League lose to Auckland City of New Zealand at the same stage a year ago.

That defeat eliminated Ahli from the competition. By winning, Wahda are assured at least two more games in this tournament: a quarter-final match tomorrow with Seongnam of South Korea and either a semi-final appearance against Inter Milan on December 15 or a place in the fifth-place game on the same day.

If Wahda get an extra 9,000 fans for the three matches, at the least, in which they play, the chances of the 2010 Club World Cup exceeding the 156,350 total attendance from the 2009 event seem strong.

Ahli's absence beyond opening night last year had a ripple effect in later matches. Auckland City's quarter-final with Atlante was attended by only 7,222 people; the fifth-place match was played in near seclusion, with a crowd count of 4,200.

Wahda, the oldest side in the capital, have a history of big crowds; more than 40,000 saw the team play for the President's Cup at Zayed Sport City in 2000.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Manager Matt Williams benching star Bryce Harper, above, may have sent the wrong message to the rest of the Washington Nationals. Mike Ehrmann / AFP

Benching Harper sends Williams’s right message the wrong way

Matt Williams, the Washington Nationals manager, made the biggest move of his 18-game tenure on Saturday, benching rising star Bryce Harper for his “lack of hustle”.

 Players such as George Springer are a sign that things are starting to swing in the Houston Astros' favour. But more help is needed. Scott Halleran / AFP

Houston Astros are still earth-bound but help is on the way

As harbingers of a new era go, the Houston Astros could have done worse than misspelling their new phenom’s name on his major-league debut.

 Luis Suarez became the first Liverpool player to score 30 Premier League goals in a season since Ian Rush in 1987. Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

Sterling and Suarez inpire Liverpool to win over Norwich City

The win takes the Premier League table-toppers to 80 points from 35 games.

 Arsenal's Lukas Podolski celebrates his second goal during the Premier League match against Hull City at The KC Stadium in Hull, England, on April 20, 2014. Lynne Cameron / AP Photo

Arsenal maintain push for top-four finish with victory at Hull

Hull could end up in Europe regardless of the FA Cup final result if Arsenal finish in the Uefa Champions League places

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Stanislas Wawrinka turned away fellow Swiss Roger Federer with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 20, 2014. Julian Finney / Getty Images

Wawrinka backhands Federer aside at Monte Carlo Masters

Stanislas Wawrinka won the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time after rallying to beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in a rare all-Swiss final.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National