x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UAE coach urges fans to turn out for Slovakia

In the aftermath of a lopsided defeat to Brazil, Rashid Amir, the UAE coach, accused a majority of the players in the Fifa Under 17 World Cup of being overage.

Rashid Amir, head coach of the UAE Under 17 football team, acknowledged Brazil's skill level as a tournament favourite but also said many teams have brought overage players to the tournament. Sammy Dallal / The National
Rashid Amir, head coach of the UAE Under 17 football team, acknowledged Brazil's skill level as a tournament favourite but also said many teams have brought overage players to the tournament. Sammy Dallal / The National

ABU DHABI // In the aftermath of a lopsided defeat Sunday night, Rashid Amir, the UAE coach, accused a majority of the players in the Fifa Under 17 World Cup of being overage.

“In my opinion, 70 per cent of them are older than the age-group competition we are playing in, and this need to be thoroughly investigated,” he said after his team’s 6-1 loss to Brazil.

“If you see the physical structure of most of the players in this competition, you are left to wonder how they are playing in this age group.”

The Emirati said there was “no comparison” in the talent between his team and Brazil after his side’s heavy defeat.

“Brazil are title contenders, and we knew from the beginning we had a very tough task,” he said.

“We had already spoken to the players to take up the defeat in good spirits.

“And for the crowd, we urge them to come and be behind us for the next game against Slovakia [on Wednesday].”

According to Amir, the FA president Yousuf Al Serkal spoke to the players in the dressing room before the game and said ”to enjoy the game against Brazil”.

“There was no pressure on the team,” Amir said. “Our next objective is to win against Slovakia, and then wait and see what happens in the other groups.”

Amir said he has already had discussions with the FA on the future of the team.

“We had only four players who had previously played in the AFC and Gulf Cup Under 16 competitions,” he said. “We are playing in the World Cup as the host team.

“The players can take this experience forward and prepare for the U19 Asian Championship in October next year.”

apassela@thenational.ae

Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE