x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Police planning ensures trouble-free final

Special gates and comprehensive police presence ensure safety at last night's President's Cup.

ABU DHABI // Police assigned special gates and deployed a comprehensive presence of uniforms to ensure security and a pleasant evening during last night's eagerly awaited President's Cup final between Al Jazira and Al Wahda football clubs.

Col Rashid al Ali, head of the security committee for the final match of the President's Cup, said teams from all sections of the police were present inside and outside Zayed Sports City, with the added assistance of private security guards.

Separate routes, parking lots and gates were assigned for fans of each team in order to avoid chaos.

"We always take preventive measures to avoid problems before they occur. If all fans were to enter from the same area, there would be congestion," he said.

"We chose the gates and routes based on where the fans would be seated, so for example, it is better for a fan from Al Wahda club to enter from the KFC intersection.'

Al Wahda fans entered from gates 3, 5, 6 and 8 as they took Al Maqta bridge route up to the intersection of Airport Road and Zayed Sports City Stadium (KFC) intersection. The fans exited from gates 4, 5 and 7. Al Jazira fans entered and exited from gates 18, 19 and 20 through Musaffah bridge.

Police patrols were deployed all around the city's motorways and roads to make sure traffic flowed smoothly and no illegal parades took place.

"For the winning team to conduct a parade, they should apply for a police permit through the sports club," Col al Ali said. However, for last night's match no permits were requested before the game.

"They might ask for one in the coming day, but tonight there shouldn't any. And police patrols are around to stop any random celebrations," Col al Ali said a few hours before the match.

Fans were also prevented from taking some items inside the stadium to avoid bad behaviour.

Sling-shots, whistles, fireworks, laser pens, tobacco, sharp items, canes, glass and pets were all banned.

hdajani@thenational.ae