Tag Archives: UAE

Longest Football Match in the History of Football

Dubai to host a non-stop football match over 36 hours to commemorate UAE’s 43rd National Day celebrations.

Dubai has come up with yet another first by organizing the longest football match in the history of football. The Dubai Sports Council (DSC) has teamed up with Mondial Company to organize the event as part of the activities held in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates for the National Day celebrations.

The match will take place at the Dubai Police Officers Club. It will kick-off at 9:00 am on 28 November 2014, and the final whistle will be blown at 9:00 pm on 29 November, 2014.

This unique venture will bring together 1,620 players from across the UAE, including former national team stars, junior players from clubs, players representing various nationalities living in the country along with a representative side of juniors from Saudi Arabia’s Al Etifaq Club led by its president, Abdul Aziz Al Dossary..

Once it is over, it should make it to the Guinness World Records as the longest football match in history.

36 hours of non-stop football in Dubai!

36 hours of non-stop football in Dubai!


Manchester City FC Launch Latest Coaching Sessions For Young Players In The UAE

The new sessions are open to boys and girls between the ages of five to 18 years’ old wishing to learn the skills of their Manchester City FC heroes

Manchester City FC manager Manuel Pellegrini and star midfielder Samir Nasri have spoken of their pride in seeing the club help develop young players in the UAE.

It comes as the new season of the City Football School at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi gets underway.

Boys and girls can sign up now for the coaching sessions which start at the end of August at the indoor arena before going out onto the pitches once the weather cools.

City manager Pellegrini, who took the team to the league title last season, said: “The importance of coaching starts at a young age and it is great the way these players in Abu Dhabi, both boys and girls, are being taught in the right way.
“What we must do as a club is make sure the same methods are used by everyone and it is not just important what happens on the pitch but also what happens off it.
“Manchester City is now a global team and that strikes me when I see what is happening in Abu Dhabi with the young player coaching – it’s very satisfying.”

City Football Schools in the UAE teach young players the same techniques taught at the club – from the first team stars to the youth teams. MANCHESTER CITY FC LAUNCH LATEST COACHING SESSIONS FOR YOUNG PLAYERS IN THE UAE

Hundreds of players have been taught at Zayed Sports City in the last three seasons with the football school growing all the time with new coaches added along with improved training sessions.
Midfielder Nasri added: “Football is very much about passion and I see that with the young players and fans in Abu Dhabi.
“The game has always been popular in the Middle East but I really see that the new emerging players are taking the standards higher and it is only going to get better from here.”

For all information on City Football Schools e-mail or visit the CityStore in Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi.



*NOTE: This post is part of the PR efforts of MCFC in UAE

Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium – The New Al Ain Football Club Home

Al Ain Football Club – UAE, now has a new football home; The Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium (استاد هزاع بن زايد). It can accommodate 25,000 spectators and was completed in a record time of just 17 months.

The launch of the new stadium is titled “The Big Kick Off”. Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium will host thousands of families from across the UAE to celebrate its opening. From 23 till 25 January, 2014, there will be a continuous festival full of activities and fun to everyone.

The 25,000-seat, 45,000 sqm Hazza Bin Zayed stadium is split over seven levels, and will be hailed as one of the most modern and unique sporting venues in the Middle East. It is one of the most sophisticated sports venues in the region and is poised to become a central destination for citizens and residents in the United Arab Emirates, as well as tourists visiting from all over the world.

This is a great step for UAE in general as it establishes for a new era of state-of-the-art football stadiums. Yet, the two questions a football fanatic should ask: 1- Why was it designed to receive only 25,000 spectators? 2- Does it meet the international standards set by FIFA to be considered a ‘licensed’ stadium?

More details about the stadium and the opening can be found on the official website here.

Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium - Al Ain Football Club New Home

Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium – Al Ain Football Club New Home

Visa Middle East Reveals Mexico’s U-17 Secret for the Miraculous Recovery

Have you ever wondered how a team that lost an opening game 1-6 could become a World Cup Finalist?

Well, the answer is Mexico’s U-17 National Football Team.

The young Mexicans have made a miraculous comeback in the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 and will play the final of the tournament against Nigeria; the same team that have beaten them 6-1 in the opening game of Group Stage.

If you do not believe in magic and the super natural rituals leading to miracles, you have to think again. Mexico’s road to the Final was an act of sorcery – to an extent – and I was an eyewitness.

Thanks to Visa Middle East I had the privilege of an exclusive tour into the players’ rooms, pitch, media center, and every corner related to the matches of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. It was when I visited Mexico’s dressing room that I came to believe in magic and spiritual rituals.

The Mexico administrative team has setup a table at the entrance of the dressing room with holy figures and religious marks. Players take the blessings of Holy Mary upon entering and before leaving to the pitch. They also arrive to the stadium singing some morale lifting rhythms [which I was not allowed to record on video] and have their captain guiding them to exact steps while leaving the bus into the rooms.

These young Mexican players have already written their own history and a legendary story to be told in the years to come. Whatever the result of the final will be, they are already considered champions. If I called it magic, it might actually be faith and belief and these two aspects are really important for these young guns and any person who dreams of success.

This is why all the magic is happening: The Blessings Table

This is why all the magic is happening: The Blessings Table

The Visa Middle East exclusive U-17 World Cup tour has given me a lot of insider information on teams participating in official FIFA tournaments and the Mexican experience and revelation was the most inspiring.

 Visa Middle East will also offer a better pre-match exclusive tour for the Final matchday, and I am hoping it will be as epic as this one. You can check this blog again after 8 November for more stories, and click here for the more insider photos taken ahead of the quarter-finals match between Brazil and Mexico.

Ivan OCHOA and Marco GRANADOS - The Mexico Team heroes of the semi-finals

Ivan OCHOA and Marco GRANADOS – The Mexico Team heroes of the semi-finals


The Official Fantasy Football Game in the United Arab Emirates

Arabian Gulf League Fantasy Football is Back!

In the United Arab Emirates, the first division football league is now called the Arabian Gulf League. The new season kicks off on 14 September 2013, and so does the official fantasy football game.

Yes, it is official, and it is run by the PRO LEAGUE COMMITTEE.

The players (which is you!) will be awarded weekly prizes based on their scores after every matchday played.

You can play the game wherever you are and you can learn about the league, the clubs and the players by visiting the UAE Football League official site or the official Twitter Account (@AGLeague) or the official Facebook Page (

Arabian Gulf League Fantasy Football Official Site

Arabian Gulf League Fantasy Football Official Site

To participate, visit the Arabian Gulf League Fantasy Football here >>>>

The Million Player – PlayStation Tournament in UAE

Win almost 275,000 US Dollars by participating in a PlayStation Tournament

For the first time in the United Arab Emirates, and under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan – Manchester City Football Club Owner, a nationwide tournament for PlayStation – Pro Evolutions Soccer 2013, will be conducted.

The tournament will be held all across the Emirates and the first place winner will receive ONE MILLION DIRHAMS (which is almost $ 275,000).

There are too many details around and about the tournament, and the Facebook page and the official site are not that comprehensive, so I will try to sum up the main points below:

  • Tournament start and end dates: 2nd of Ramadan – 28th of Ramadan 2013 (Between 7 July and 5 August, 2013)
  • Registration: From 28 April – 20 June
  • Registration Fee: AED 150 (almost $42) – Attendance fee is AED 20 (almost $5.5)
  • Where to Register: You can call 600546000 (inside UAE) – or visit Al Ansari Exchange (All branches inside UAE) – or through the official website here
  • Eligibility: Any person (males and females) can register and participate (inside or outside UAE – Any nationality)
  • Location: All across the UAE – and in Abu Dhabi starting off from the round of 16
  • Guests of Honor: UAE National Team super star Omar Abdul Rahman – UAE Sports Commentator Faris Awad – and a possible appearance by Diego Maradona

The games will have specialized referees and Abu Dhabi Sports TV will broadcast the semi-finals and the final, live to air.

The prizes are:

  • First Place: AED 1,000,000
  • Second Place: AED 300,000 – Third Place: AED 100,000 – Fourth Place: AED 50,000 – Fifth Place: AED 40,000
  • From Sixth to Tenth Place: AED 30,000
  • From 11th to 500th Place: Electronic gadgets (unidentified as of now)
  • Attendees (Fans) Prizes: A luxurious crossover SUV Range Rover Evoque + 100 mobile phone handsets

There are more announcements to come, one of which is the final list of registered players a week before kickoff. You should keep an eye on the official website and the Facebook page for more updates.

A Tournament for PlayStation Lovers and PES2013 addicts to win a million dirhams

A Tournament for PlayStation Lovers and PES2013 addicts to win a million dirhams


Rare Photo: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Playing Football

UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is known for his love and support of sports. In a recent meeting, while receiving the members of the UAE National Football Team who have recently won the Gulf Cup held in Bahrain, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid shared a rare photo of himself playing football.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Playing Football

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Playing Football

Diego Maradona fights with football fans in UAE [video]

Diego Maradona was involved in a brawl with some supporters of Al Shabab Club just after his team’s game against them on March 29, 2012.

As per www.sport360: “Diego Maradona, manager of Al Wasl, was involved in an ugly confrontation at the end of the Pro League game with Al Shabab this evening.

Shabab had just beaten Dubai rivals Wasl 2-0 at Al Mamzar Stadium when it appeared that Maradona’s girlfriend, Veronica Ojeda, was being abused by a section of the local support. Maradona then rushed into the stand, accompanied by Wasl player Juan Ignacio Mercier, whose girlfriend was in the same section, in an attempt the lead them to safety.

A scuffle broke out in the area nominally reserved for VIPs which as then diffused by security staff. Ms Ojeda was led away looking visibly shaken, while Juan Mercier’s girlfriend appeared to trip on the stairs.”

Sport360 blogger Finlay Donaldson was a witness to the incident as it unfolded. “It seems something was said to Maradona’s girlfriend. He ran up the stand, confronted other fans and that’s when the scuffle broke out.

“Maradona was then escorted down, shouting and gesturing towards the Shabab VIP area.”

p.s. Videos courtesy of “Dhahialfalasi” and Abu Dhabi Sports TV; compiled by @figo29

Lebanon Qualified: Now What?

Lebanon has finally made it to “Round Four” of the Asian Zone qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, for the first time in its history. Round Four though, is not the World Cup Finals. It is the first step in the biggest challenge and the most realistic chance Lebanon ever got to reach a World Cup Tournament.

Lebanese Fans in Al Nahyan Stadium

10,231 fans attended the game of UAE vs Lebanon in Al Wahda Stadium (PHOTO: Omography)

Why the excitement then? What happens now? Whom does Lebanon need to face? When will it be played? What are Lebanon’s chances?

Well, the excitement arose out of the Lebanese people’s need to make history and be unified again and stand as one behind one cause, away from religion, politics, and social problems. I myself was excited enough and attended the game in the stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and I might one day write about the whole experience. For now, let’s not get emotional and carried away, and focus on what will happen next:

  • On March 9, 2012, the draw for Round Four will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Ten teams will be part of the draw: Australia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, South Korea, Uzbekistan
  • The ten teams will be ranked according to the latest FIFA rankings that will be released on March 7, 2012.
  • The ten teams will be split into two groups; with each group holding five of them
  • The five teams of each group will face each other on a home-and-away basis
  • The winner and the runner-up of each group will qualify to the World Cup in Brazil 2014
  • The third placed teams of the two groups will face-off, for the winner to play against the fifth placed team in the South American qualifiers
  • The matches will be played between 3 June 2012 and 18 June 2013

The chances for Lebanon to make it through or out of Round Four are not big enough. However, no one believed Lebanon will make it this far, right? I said it once and I am reiterating it now: “I want to see Lebanon in Brazil 2014 and I do not care if that means we will lose 100-0 in that World Cup, but I will hold my ambitions and hopes …till at least June 2013.

Lebanese Players Celebrating the Qualification

Local history made, giant steps await! #GoLebanon

UAE vs Lebanon: What Time is Kick-Off?

UPDATE: Today, February 07, 2011, the Lebanese TV Station “LBC” has announced it will broadcast the match at 16:00 local time (+4GMT)

This post is intended to highlight the match details of the last game of the World Cup Qualifiers for Brazil 2014, Asian Zone, Round 3, between UAE and Lebanon. The scenarios and details of who can qualify to Round 4 can be found here.

The UAE Football Association has posted the details on their website, stating the kick-off time at 17:30 local time (13:30 GMT). However, has the kick-off time set for  16:00 local time (12:00 GMT). Yet, other football related websites are reporting kick-off at 19:00 local time (15:00 GMT). And hence the confusion.

I will try to update my blog with the exact time once a unified kick-off time is unveiled, and in the meantime, you can check the location of the match by clicking here.

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