x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Al Minhali kicked off Swiss-bound squad

The Al Jazira midfielder Sultan al Minhali has been dropped from the UAE youth squad leaving for Switzerland tonight for breaking the team rules.

ABU DHABI // The Al Jazira midfielder Sultan al Minhali has been dropped from the UAE youth squad leaving for Switzerland tonight for breaking the team rules. The squad, now reduced to 25 players, will spend 35 days in the first of the two overseas camps as part of their preparation for the Fifa Under-20 World Cup in Egypt from Sept 24 to Oct 16. "The player has been left out for breaking the team rules and the disciplinary committee of the UAE FA will conduct a further hearing," said Mohammed Obaid al Hammad, a member of the team's technical committee. Al Minhali's chances of making it to the championship in Egypt now seem uncertain with the team's preparation entering a crucial phase.

But al Hammad was looking ahead to his team's progress since winning the Asian Youth Championship in Saudi Arabia last September. "We have planned our preparation well and everything seems to have gone well so far," he said. "We have planned 12 friendlies, in Switzerland and Turkey, in the lead up to the championship in Egypt. We are all happy at the progress shown from the team" In Switzerland, the team will focus the first 10 days on the physical conditioning of the players and the second part will include six friendly matches with local clubs and fixtures with Spain, Belgium, Nigeria and Haiti.

They will return to Dubai on Aug 18 and head to Turkey after a five-day break for the final part of their preparation before flying directly to Egypt for the championship. The UAE face South Africa in the Group F opener on Sept 27, followed by fixtures with Hungary and Honduras. apassela@thenational.ae