Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 6 June 2020

Football Association announce sport in UAE to remain suspended

All activities were called off for four weeks from March 15

The President's Cup semi-final was played behind closed doors at Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National
The President's Cup semi-final was played behind closed doors at Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National

The Football Association has reaffirmed its decision to suspend all football activity in the UAE for four weeks from March 15, meaning Arabian Gulf League clubs cannot return to training until further notice.

The governing body reiterated its stance on Monday following news overnight that clubs would be permitted to begin training again given players and staff passed the necessary testing for the coronavirus.

The Arabian Gulf League (AGL) was one of a number of competitions to have been postponed last week following the FA’s move to suspend all football that fell under its auspices, for four weeks at least. The governing body added that it would reassess the situation at the conclusion of that period.

On Monday, the FA released a statement that read: “The Football Association confirms that the decision includes all the competitions organised by the Football Association: the UAE Professional League, the activities of the national teams, the women's football committees, gymnasiums and the private academies, as well as all training for all ages, including the first and reserve team.”

“The decision comes after co-ordination with the competent authorities in the country, which makes great efforts to preserve the safety of all members of society."

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The announcement to postpone the AGL was made after Round 19, which concluded on March 14. The FA discussed various options for the resolution of the league, but at the moment have not set a deadline as to when it must be completed. They are in constant dialogue with the relevant authorities, and will take a final decision only after consultation with them.

With seven rounds remaining this season, Shabab Al Ahli are currently top of the table, six points ahead of Al Ain.

The President’s Cup final, between Al Ain and Al Dhafra, is yet to be played, while four UAE clubs – Shabab Al Ahli, Al Wahda, Sharjah and Al Ain – compete in the Asian Champions League. The continental competition was suspended earlier this month, two rounds into the group stages.

Updated: March 23, 2020 03:28 PM

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