Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Yousuf Al Serkal won the election by 26 votes.
Yousuf Al Serkal won the election by 26 votes.

New FA president is eager to roll out his plans

Al Serkal is in favour of expanding the Pro League to 14 teams, and will focus on "the national and the Olympic teams, and at the same time the Pro League."

ABU DHABI // Yousuf Al Serkal was last night elected president of the Football Association with a landslide majority.

Al Serkal won by 26 votes to two with two spoilt papers to defeat Abdullah Hareb Al Falahi and secure a second four-year term in a ballot at the National Centre for Documents and Research.

The new president has already laid out his objectives for the FA.

"My top priority definitely is the national and the Olympic teams, and at the same time the Pro League, which is to improve the mentality of not only the players but the officials as well," he said.

Al Serkal said they had a few names on a shortlist for the role of senior national team coach, including Mahdi Ali, the UAE Olympic team coach.

He also did not rule out Diego Maradona, the Al Wasl coach.

"He is now in the UAE family of football and we cannot overlook such an influential name in football," Al Serkal said. "He will be considered."

He is also in favour of expanding the Pro League to 14 teams but said this would have to be decided by the board.

Al Serkal is also running for presidency of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and he said his victory sent a strong message to football federations in Asia.

"I being supported by the government for the AFC presidency and this overwhelming result is a message for Asia," he said.

"I am not only officially supported by the government but by the clubs as well."

There were accusation in the lead-up to the elections with the rival camp accusing Al Serkal for breaching FA ad Fifa statutes.

"From my side it was not bad at all," Al Serkal said when he was asked about the allegations.

"I made sure that I remain calm and don't react. I didn't make any announcement out of the subject and didn't even touch my opponent.

"I am sorry when the campaign began there were some negative messages sent, but that is not how elections are campaigned in the UAE, where democracy is very well respected."

When asked if he could handle roles of FA president and vice president of the Olympic Committee, as well as his campaign to become the AFC president, he said: "There is an Arabic saying for every subject there is a speech. When that subject comes we will deliver the speech."

Al Serkal's first term as the FA president ended in 2006 and he was appointed the interim head following the resignation of Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi in December.

Thani Murshid Al Rumaithi of Al Jazira and Obaid Salem Al Shamsi of Hatta were elected as vice presidents.

Khaled Awadh, the deputy chief executive officer of Al Wahda, said the win for Al Serkal proves he was the right man to head the body overseeing country's most popular sport.

"If the sport has to improve, there are a lot of things to be done, and I can only wish the newly elected president has the experience and imagination to take it to the next level in terms of improvement all round."


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Chris Burch will play fly-half as part of a new-look back line for the UAE national rugby union team that will face Singapore at The Sevens grounds in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Chris Burch to lead UAE’s charge against Singapore

he UAE’s bid to safeguard their place in the second tier of Asian rugby against Singapore next week will be piloted by a player who was contemplating retirement from the sport at this time last year.

 Seiichi Shimomura, centre, is part of a Japan squad that is the gold standard for sides such as the UAE, here in a Asian Five Nations rugby match at Dubai on May 10, 2013 and Singapore aspire to reach. Marwan Naamani / AFP

UAE and Singapore are rugby teams with a similar tale to tell

The UAE versus Singapore in rugby: a battle to see whether our expatriates are better than their expatriates, surely? Well, maybe not for much longer.

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 Sharjah Cricket Stadium's colorful past was never like this – the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils was loud, raucous and commerical. Pawan Singh / The National

No need for rose-coloured glasses when Sharjah Cricket Stadium host IPL

Sharjah still plays well as India's home away from home when it comes to big-time cricket, but the commercial overtones were in overdrive.

 Jorginho accepts the challenge that lies ahead for Al Wasl's improvement, and the club says it will give him time ... if they see results.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Wasl will give Jorginho time but results in Arabian Gulf League are needed

Al Wasl officials said they will provide Jorginho, their new coach, sufficient time to change the club’s fortunes while also warning that his fate ultimately will depend on results.

 Mickael Barzalona riding Sudden Wonder, left, to victory in the Tattersalls Millions Trophy at Newmarket racecourse on April 17, 2014 in Newmarket, England. Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images

Godolphin boosted by performances of two fresh horses at Newmarket

Be Ready underwhelms in Craven Stakes during otherwise successful day for stables


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National