4222e24a90458210VgnVCM200000e66411acRCRDapproved/thenational/Articles/Migration/2009-Q4They did us proud3222e24a90458210VgnVCM200000e66411ac____They did us proudThe UAE's heartbreaking exit from the Under-20 World Cup was all the more bitter for being hastened by an unfortunate refereeing decision.<p>It was a rollercoaster ride that gripped the nation, but it had to end sometime. And the UAE's heartbreaking exit from the Under-20 World Cup was all the more bitter for being hastened by an unfortunate refereeing decision. Instead of being awarded a deserved penalty kick, the young Ahmed Khalil was booked for diving. It was expensive. A Costa Rican goal in extra time with almost the last kick of the game gave the Central American side a 2-1 win, dashing hopes of an Emirati appearance in the semi-finals.</p>
<p>These young men deserve our praise for grinding it out until the final whistle. Despite being only teenagers, the UAE team exhibited a level of professionalism on the pitch that many more seasoned footballers fail to achieve. They can return home with their heads held high, knowing that they gave it their best shot.
The forthcoming Grand Prix and Emirati involvement in the English Premier League have placed the UAE firmly on the sporting map, and these young athletes have further raised the profile. This is the UAE at its best and most promising, and we should all congratulate these 21 young men for representing their country so admirably to the rest of the world.</p>