Shaikh Hazza congratulates football team

DUBAI - Shaikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Honorary President of the UAE Football Association, congratulated the UAE football team for their semifinal victory over South Korea in the Asian Games at Guangzhou on Tuesday.



By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Thu 25 Nov 2010, 12:33 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:33 AM

Shaikh Hazza spoke to UAE Football Association President Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi in Aden immediately after the match and praised the efforts of the association in creating an opportunity to play for the gold medal in soccer for the first time in the history of UAE.

Al Rumaithi thanked Shaikh Hazza for his unlimited support to the national teams.

“Shaikh Hazza has been providing all assistance and help and creating the suitable atmosphere and fertile land for our talents.

“The FA will continue to work with all UAE clubs to develop and promote the talented players. I would like to thank all the UAE clubs which have been cooperating with us,” he said.

“The boys in white have delighted their fans and made the nation proud,” he added.

Speaking to newsmen at the 22nd May Stadium in the Yemeni city of Aden ahead of the Gulf Cup clash between UAE and Iraq, Al Rumaithi said the historic victory of the team is a natural result of hard work and strong fighting spirit of the players.

Al Rumaithi had spoken to the head of the delegation of the Asian Games, Saeed Abdul Ghaffar, over phone and congratulated him for the great success.

“It’s a dream that came true. Now the boys have raised the ceiling of our ambitions and they must be looking forward to land a first-ever Asian Games football gold for their young nation,” he said.

“Now, at least the national team is in the podium and hopefully they will make a golden tournament for the people of the UAE,” he said.

Meanwhile, the UAE coach Mahdi Ali said the players’ effort has delighted him. “They are true warriors who fought for two hours for the sake of their nation. I think they deserve all respect and gratitude,” said the former Al Ahli international.

Ali said the players didn’t let him down and they have executed his plan perfectly. “The players made everything right and our keeper Ali Khusaif played a crucial role in the victory,” he said.

But, Ali told the players to hold their celebrations and get ready for the challenge ahead when they line up for gold against Japan at the same venue on Thursday.

“We don’t have much time to prepare for the big job ahead. The time remaining is very short and we need to remain focused. Our next challenge is on Thursday and we need to work hard to keep the players away from any pressures,” he added.

Ahmed Al Abry, who scored the winner said the victory was an outcome of the team work. “We are the team of the day and thank God I have scored the winner. I am over the moon, but we need to remain quiet because there’s a lot of work to be done in our crucial ties against Japan. The gold medal is very important for the UAE football and hopefully we will be able to delight our fans further,” he said.

hisham@khaleejtimes.com


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