DUBAI // Mohammed Khalfan al Rumaithi, president of the UAE Football Association (UAE FA), has little doubt that tie-ups with other national associations will enhance the game of football in the country. The UAE FA have signed co-operation deals with the German and Tunisian federations, as well as a twinning agreement with the Egyptian federation.
Ivan Hasek, the former Al Ahli coach who is now the president of the Czech Republic's football association, has also proposed a partnership. "We want enhanced relationships with other federations in all continents. "It is in the interest of the UAE FA to exchange experiences," said al Rumaithi. "We started with the Germans and now we are about to form a committee from our side to activate the agreement we have from January.
"We have done the same with Egypt. With Tunisia, we have called for a delegation to come from their side and sit with our people to see the areas where we could co-operate. "The Tunisians are very good as far as regulations are concerned. I believe they are the most advanced among Arab countries. They have doping control and arbitration centres. "They will come here and we will see the areas where we can co-operate in, not necessarily helping with the referees and coaching, or exchanging camps and all that.
"We will see what we need. We took what we need from the Germans and the Egyptians. "As far as the UAE FA is concerned, we can also help. We have our own experiences and we can share it with others." Hasek, who guided Ahli to the league title last season before leaving for home to contest elections for the presidency of the Czech association, is keen to maintain his association with the Emirates. "Hasek has proposed a partnership agreement. If we go with them, I think we will concentrate on maybe playing a friendly match every year," said al Rumaithi.
"Our agreement with Manchester City is also limited to playing the friendly match. There are no other obligations. "The match, however, will be very important for our new national team coach Srecko Katanec. It will be, I think, his third friendly match and will help him in getting a good idea about the team." Katanec's first official game will be the second leg of the 2011 Asian Cup qualifier against Malaysia at home on Jan 6.
"If we beat Malaysia we are in the finals of the Asian Cup in Doha," added al Rumaithi. "We will be left with Uzbekistan and I think we can take care of them, take our revenge by beating them in their own country." firstname.lastname@example.org