ABU DHABI // Subait Khater will make his return for the UAE after a one-year international exile. The UAE's Slovenian coach Srecko Katanec named the Al Jazira midfielder in his 23-man squad yesterday for the three forthcoming friendlies. Khater was given a one-year ban for breaking a late-night curfew 48 hours before a crucial 2010 World Cup qualifying match with Iran in November last year. His punishment by the Football Association also included a fine of Dh25,000 and a further three-match ban from playing for his club.
Khater, 29, said: "I apologised to everyone at that time and I am glad to be back in the national team. I never intended to break the rules and I had to pay a heavy price for that mistake. I must thank the coach for selecting me." Katanec, who led the UAE to a win and draw last month in his first two games in charge against Palestine and Jordan respectively, has also picked up five players from the UAE youth team who reached the Fifa Under 20 World Cup quarter-finals in Egypt last month. The U20 captain Hamdan al Kamali is joined by Mohammed Fayez, Sultan al Menhali, Ahmed Khalil, Theyab Awana and the goalkeeper Yousif Abdelrahman.
Katanec's players begin their final preparations for January's Asian Cup qualifier with Malaysia with friendlies against Manchester City at Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City on Thursday, followed by a friendly quadrangular tournament, in which they play the Czech Republic (Nov 15) and either Iraq or Azerbaijan three days later at the Tahnoun bin Mohammed Stadium in Al Qattara, Al Ain. Ismail Matar is still absent. The Al Wahda forward has not played since injuring a knee against Palestine.
Goalkeepers: Majed Naser (Al Wasl), Yousif Abdelrahman (Al Ain), Ali Kasheif (Al Jazira). Defenders: Mohammed Fayez, Musallam Fayez and Mohannad al Enazi (Al Ain), Hamdan al Kamali (Al Wahda), Mohammed Qasim and Yousef Jaber (Al Ahli), Yaser Salem (Al Wasl), Waleed Abbas (Al Shabab). Midfielders: Salem Abdulla and Ali al Wehaibi (Al Ain), Sultan al Menhali, Ali Mabkhout and Subait Khater (Al Jazira), Amer Mubarak (Al Shabab), Mahmoud Khamis (Al Wahda), Amer Abdulrahman (Baniyas). Forwards: Ahmed Khalil (Al Ahli), Mohammed al Shehhi (Al Wahda), Saeed al Kas (Al Wasl), Theyab Awana (Baniyas email@example.com