Timeframe: The opening ceremonies of the 1996 AFC Asian Cup
There were differences to this year's event, but Emirati hospitality featured strongly in both
It’s been 23 years since the country hosted the AFC Asian Cup. In 1996, only 11 teams competed, compared to the 24 that are here for this year’s tournament – and Saudi Arabia beat the host country in the final after penalties.
The opening ceremonies were different as well, with traditional Emirati dances taking place on a beach on the Corniche and, as seen here, two giant floating footballs provided the backdrop. This year, the festivities took place at Zayed Sports City as Emirati singers Hussain Al Jassmi, Eida Al Mehali and Yemeni-Emirati singer Balqees Fathis performed before the opening match between the hosts and Bahrain.
Of course, we hope that the final also features the UAE, but along the way, we look forward to great matchups in the capital, Al Ain, Dubai and Sharjah, and we plan to have a ball.
Updated: January 10, 2019 06:14 PM