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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

UAE to face Yemen in friendly after Egypt game cancelled

National team will take on Yemen at Al Wasl's Zabeel Stadium in Dubai

Alberto Zaccheroni's UAE kick off the Asian Cup against Bahrain in the capital, before Group A assignments against India and Thailand. AFP
Alberto Zaccheroni's UAE kick off the Asian Cup against Bahrain in the capital, before Group A assignments against India and Thailand. AFP

The UAE will face fellow 2019 Asian Cup entrants Yemen next week after their friendly against Egypt was cancelled.

The national team were set to take on the North Africans in Abu Dhabi on November 20, but the Egyptian Football Association announced at the weekend that the match had been postponed.

However, the UAE FA says it had not by that time received official confirmation the fixture in Abu Dhabi was off, and on Tuesday issued a strongly worded statement criticising its Egyptian counterpart and the advertising agency that represents it, Presentation Sports.

The national team will now take on Yemen at Al Wasl's Zabeel Stadium in Dubai instead, as Alberto Zaccheroni’s side bring to a close the fourth of five training camps in preparation for the Asian Cup on home soil.

Ranked 131st in the world by Fifa – the UAE sit 50 spots higher – Yemen will debut at the continent’s showpiece, which for the first time has been expanded from 16 to 24 teams. The tournament, taking place in the Emirates for the second time, runs from January 5-February 1.

Yemen have been drawn in Group D together with Iran, Iraq and Vietnam. They open their Asian Cup account against Iran, the continent’s highest-ranked side, at Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on January 7.

Meanwhile, the UAE kick off the tournament against Bahrain in the capital two days earlier, before Group A assignments against India and Thailand. Zaccheroni’s men are training in Dubai and will meet Bolivia in a friendly at the Maktoum bin Rashid Stadium on Friday.

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