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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 26 March 2019

Team UAE footballers grouped with Spain, South Africa and Jamaica in Special Olympics draw

Fourteen teams will be competing in the men's 11-a-side competition at the Abu Dhabi Games

Football is one of 24 sports at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi. Delores Johnson / The National
Football is one of 24 sports at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi. Delores Johnson / The National

The UAE has been grouped with Spain in the draw for the hotly-anticipated men's football competition at the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

Fourteen teams are competing in the 11-a-side competition and learnt their road to glory in a live televised draw on Abu Dhabi Sports TV with Al Ain footballers Mohamed Khalfan and Tongo Doumbia and Fujairah FC's Subait Khater in attendance.

The competition has been broken into four groups - four teams in groups A and C and three in in groups B and D.

Hosts UAE will also face South Africa and Jamaica in Group A.

The first round-robin matches kick off on March 12 with the final on March 20. All matches will be held at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE team will be aiming to build on their impressive third-place finish at last year’s inaugural Unified Football Cup in Chicago, as part of the Special Olympics’ 50th Anniversary celebrations. The team impressed in the group stages but fell to Uruguay in a penalty shoot-out.

Football is one of the 24 officially sanctioned sports at Abu Dhabi's Special Olympics.

More than 7,500 athletes from over 190 nations set to compete from March 14 to March 21.

Updated: February 20, 2019 11:07 AM

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