UAE to host remaining World Cup qualifiers

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on March 12, 2021
Members of the UAE national team celebrate a goal. (UAEFA Twitter)

The UAE Football Association had formally submitted its interest last week

The UAE will host the remaining Group G fixtures of joint World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers as part of a centralised system, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), announced on Friday.

“Following a process of close consultation with Asia’s Member Associations, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has today confirmed the centralised venues for the Asian Qualifiers for the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 matches scheduled to take place from 31 May to June 15, 2021,” the AFC said in a statement.

“The United Arab Emirates have been selected as the host for Group G, which consists of ASEAN challengers Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia,” the statement added.

The UAE Football Association had formally submitted its interest last week and the bid met all the conditions and standards set by the AFC, including stadiums, training facilities, transportation, hotels for the teams, referees, organisers, apart from the high quality health protocols, in place, in the country.

The matches will be held at Al Nasr’s Al Maktoum Stadium and Al Wasl’s Zabeel Stadium, in Dubai.

The AFC had taken a decision last month to postpone the four matches scheduled to be held in March, in light of the Covid pandemic. Match days were pencilled in on March 25 and March 30.

The proposed dates for the matches will see the UAE, who are fourth in the group, play Malaysia on June 3, while Thailand will play Indonesia. Vietnam meet Indonesia on June 7, while the UAE lock horns with Thailand. The UAE then meet Indonesia on June 11, with Malaysia taking on Vietnam. The UAE play Vietnam and Thailand meet Malaysia on June 15.

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