Al Nasr's Yaqoub earns call-up to UAE team
UAE coach Bert van Marwijk has called up Jassim Yaqoub. - Twitter
Dubai - The 22-year-old midfielder was initially included in the UAE Olympic squad
Al Nasr midfielder Jassim Yaqoub's impressive showing in the club's opener in the Arabian Gulf Cup last weekend has earned him a call-up to the UAE National team.
The 22-year-old playmaker conjured two assists in The Blues' 3-0 win over Ittihad Kalba at the Al Maktoum Stadium last Friday.
Yaqoub has initially been named in the UAE Olympic team squad for the twin camps in Slovenia and Croatia, as preparations for the 2020 AFC Under-23 Championship.
But UAE coach Bert van Marwijk was left impressed by the youngster, prompting a selection to the senior team, the UAE Football Association confirmed on Tuesday.
Yaqoub, who has made 91 appearances for Al Nasr and has seven goals and nine assists, will join the 27-man squad currently camping in Bahrain.
The squad are currently preparing for the joint Asia Zone World Cup and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. The Whites, who are pooled along with Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, open their campaign against Malaysia at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on September 10.
The camp began on August 25 and concludes on September 1. The squad will then travel to Malaysia on September 4 for their final piece of training ahead of the qualifier.
Yaqoub made his senior debut at 20 years, seven months and 25 days under previous coach Alberto Zaccheroni in 2017. His debut came against Uzbekistan in an international friendly at home, where he played 58 minutes as a substitute, for his injured club mate Salem Saleh. He was called up for another friendly against Slovakia in 2018 but was on the bench. Yaqoub played the final three minutes of the 1-0 loss to Gabon in the King's Cup in Thailand in 2018.
Meanwhile, a 37-member team of UAE referees left from the Dubai International Airport on Tuesday morning for a camp to be held in the German city of Nuremberg. The camp, which will include physical preparation, lectures on modern techniques of refeering, as well as VAR (Video Assistant Referee), will run until September 7.
"The team includes 32 referees, one assistant referee and four women referees. It is part of the co-operation between the UAE Referee Committee and the Women's Football Committee, to upgrade their level," said Saleh Al Marzouqi, a UAE FA official.
"The camp is a continuation of the physical and technical preparation for the referees for different age groups, which was held during the summer. The referees had trained under the supervision of referee coaches accredited by the FA and they underwent preparations at the UAE FA Headquarters.
Earlier, the referees of the first team had undergone a training camp in Nuremberg from July 7 to August 9. Around 50 referees and assistant referees had participated in that camp.
These camps have been devised to improve the standard of officiating across all age groups in UAE football as well as Asian and international matches.