Mohammed leads victory march

DUBAI — His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has granted a villa each to the members of the UAE soccer team that won the Gulf Cup for the first time since the championship kicked off over 30 years ago.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

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Published: Sat 3 Feb 2007, 9:19 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:25 AM

Shaikh Mohammed leads victory march“The Federal Government has also decided to double the budget of the UAE Football Association in appreciation of their good performance,” Shaikh Mohammed told the players after receiving the national team at his Palace in Zabeel yesterday afternoon.

The cool weather yesterday added to the festivities which started from the World Trade Centre in Dubai and saw thousands joining the parade to celebrate the team’s victory. The parade of colours, which coincided with the last day of the DSF, concluded at the Global Village.

“Well done! I told you to fight like lions and you have lived up to my expectations. You have made your people proud. Everyone is happy, right from the Shaikhs to the ordinary man in the street. I jumped from my chair when Ismail Matar scored the (winning) goal against Oman,” Shaikh Mohammed said.

Shaikh Mohammed added: “This great achievement is the outcome of togetherness and cooperation of all members of the squad. The UAE people and fans did a great job and provided you with the maximum possible support. I was listening to the radio at midday when they told the fans to stop pouring into the Zayed Stadium as it was fully packed.”

Shaikh Mohammed also told the players to abide by the directives and instructions of the coach and train keenly and honestly. “You are representing the people of the UAE on and off the field,” he said.

Shaikh Mohammed also praised the coverage by the media. “The media did a great job. They gave the players all the support they needed,” he said.

Victory march

Later, Shaikh Mohammed also told Yousuf Husain, Head of the Technical Committee at the UAE Football Association, to reconsider his resignation. Hussain responded immediately saying Shaikh Mohammed’s request is an order and it will be obeyed.

Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, said the Gulf Cup triumph was just the beginning, and there were a lot of surprises in store for the future.

Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, thanked the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for receiving the players of the national team.

Shaikh Abdullah announced that an extraordinary general body meeting of the General Assembly of the UAE Football Association would be convened shortly to discuss ways to further develop the country’s football.

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