x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

UAE to take on Japan in Abu Dhabi

The UAE will play Japan in a friendly in the capital ahead of their opening World Cup Asia Zone final round qualifying fixture.

The UAE will prepare for their opening World Cup Asia Zone final round qualifying fixture with North Korea in September with an international friendly against Japan in Abu Dhabi.
The UAE will prepare for their opening World Cup Asia Zone final round qualifying fixture with North Korea in September with an international friendly against Japan in Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI // The UAE will play Japan in a friendly in the capital city ahead of their opening World Cup Asia Zone final round qualifying fixture with North Korea on Sept 6. "We have already written to the Japan Federation and are waiting for an answer. We are sure of a positive reply from them," said a source from the technical committee of the UAE FA.

The technical committee felt Japan can provide the ideal warm-up game for the UAE rather than Uzbekistan, who were also considered for the friendly in Abu Dhabi. Algeria, meanwhile, have been confirmed as opponents for a friendly on Aug 20 during the UAE's training camp in France, which has been brought forward by almost two weeks to Aug 3. They will also play either Bahrain or Qatar during the camp. Bruno Metsu's side are drawn in Group B along side South, Iran, Saudi Arabia and North Korea, who they face in the opener before meeting Saudi Arabia four days later, both at Abu Dhabi.

Japan are drawn in Group A and face Australia, Uzbekistan, Bahrain and Qatar. The top two teams from each group earn automatic qualification and the two third-placed teams play off for the right to play the winners of the Oceania group. Meanwhile, the UAE goalkeeper Majid Nassir went back to his native Fujairah to host a junior football camp at Al Ahli Stadium. The Dubai Holding Football Camp follows complaints about the lack of proper football facilities in Fujairah.

Over 40 youngsters had their first taste of playing on grass instead of having to use rough ground or the beach. @Email:apasella@thenational.ae