Omar, Mabkhout will be first names on squad: Junaibi
Omar Abdulrahman and Ali Mabkhout were excluded from the UAE squad for the King's Cup in Thailand in March.
Dubai - Al Junaibi said that the UAE Football Association were pleased with Zaccheroni's work in his first seven months in the job
dubai - Abdulla Naser Al Junaibi, Vice-President of the UAE Football Association has said that talisman Omar Abdulrahman and marksman Ali Mabkhout will be the first names on the squad for the AFC Asian Cup and rubbished rumours that their omission for the King's Cup was down to them breaking a curfew during the Gulf Cup.
Al Ain playmaker Omar Abdulrahman and Al Jazira striker Ali Mabkhout were excluded from the squad for the King's Cup in Thailand in March, which the media said was because the duo had broken curfew the night before UAE's final defeat to Oman in the GCC Cup of Nations in January.
But Al Junaibi, who is also the Chairman of the Pro League Committee (PLC), said that was not the case and the pair would be the first two names on the list for the AFC Asian Cup to be played on home soil. "They are the first two names that we will put and then we will build the list," A Junaibi told media at the UAE FA Headquarters in Al Khawaneej on Saturday.
When asked whether the duo were dropped from the King's Cup squad by coach Alberto Zaccheroni for their infringements, Al Junaibi said: "Maybe you are talking about the Thailand camp. If you noticed during that period, lot of media raised the issue about Kuwait (Gulf Cup) and thought he (Zaccheroni) didn't choose them, which is not true at all.
"The coach clearly stated he didn't choose eight players but the media didn't talk about the other names and were talking only about the two players. He clearly said that these players played in the AFC Champions League for their clubs, for the UAE, so he wanted to give them a little bit of a break to rest and recuperate from a hectic schedule. But definitely, they will be first on the list," he added.
Meanwhile, Al Junaibi said that the FA were pleased with Zaccheroni's work in his first seven months in the job.
"First of all, we can see Zaccheroni and his team are really hard working. They are really into the challenge. They are taking this as their personal challenge. He has a vision, he knows what he wants and he knows how to do it. We trust in him and we count on his ability and his experience," said Al Junaibi.
"He didn't have enough time with the players during his first six or seven months and maybe a lot of people are judging him on that. But he had stated that the first six or seven months were about getting to know the players, their skills and their abilities. From now on, it will be totally different," he added.