x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Al Ain and Ahli upset at date switch

The date for the season-opening Super Cup is likely to be advanced after both Al Ain and Al Ahli expressed their reservations about playing on September 22, which could be the first or second day of Eid al Fitr.

The date for the season-opening Super Cup is likely to be advanced after both Al Ain and Al Ahli expressed their reservations about playing on September 22, which could be the first or second day of Eid al Fitr. The season-opening match, between the league champions and the President's Cup winners, had earlier been scheduled for September 14. However, the UAE Football League decided to switch the game to September 22, citing the sanctity of the final 10 days of Ramadan.

Both Al Ain and Ahli are unhappy about the new date, especially since they could be playing on the second day of Eid al Fitr and just two days before the start of this season's Pro League. Al Ain have already sent a letter to the UAE Football Association, asking that the date of the game be advanced. "We have suggested September 17," said Majid al Owais, the Al Ain team manager. "It is a Thursday and fans will be able to come for the game.

"September 22 could be the first or second day of Eid, and we cannot deny our players the opportunity to spend this blessed day with their families. "So we are hoping for a positive response from the UAEFA to our request. Playing on September 22 is not appropriate and there is nothing preventing the game from being advanced by a few days." Abdulmajeed Hussain, director of the Ahli first team, was also critical of the Super Cup schedule change.

"I am really surprised to see the Super Cup being held just two days before the start of the league," he said. "And how can we play on the second day of Eid? Every league in the world shows respect for such days. "I believe we should show a bit more respect towards our festival" @Email:arizvi@thenational.ae