The UAE hope their early arrival and three friendlies matches will help the side to adapt well in their AFC Under-16 Championship at the Uzbek capital Tashkent. They face Yemen in their opening match on Sunday in Group D which also includes Japan and Malaysia. The UAE earned a direct qualification after Tajikistan were disqualified for fielding ineligible player in the qualifying rounds.
The Central Asian nation finished second behind Uzbekistan with the Gulf nation finishing third ahead of Turkmenistan, Bangladesh and Palestine. The UAE squad travelled to Uzbekistan more than a week ahead of the two-week long competition and will play their final friendly tonight against another Uzbek club side. The championship kicks off with four games: South Korea v India, Syria v Indonesia, Singapore v Uzbekistan and Iran v Bahrain.