Sharjah embark on Arabian Gulf League title defence against Fujairah

Members representing various professions in the first line of defence conducted the draw at the Ministry of Health on Saturday. - Supplied photo
Members representing various professions in the first line of defence conducted the draw at the Ministry of Health on Saturday. - Supplied photo

Dubai - The UAE Pro League conducted the draw for the new season at the Ministry of Health, under the slogan "Thank you, our first line of defence."



By James Jose

Published: Sat 18 Jul 2020, 10:49 PM

Last updated: Sun 19 Jul 2020, 12:58 AM

Arabian Gulf League champions Sharjah will embark on their title defence away against Fujairah, while runners-up Shabab Al Ahli too are on the road to Ittihad Kalba, in the opening round, after the draw was held on Saturday night.
The UAE Pro League conducted the draw for the new season of the Arabian Gulf League and the Arabian Gulf Cup at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Dubai, under the slogan "Thank you, our first line of defence."

The choice of venue reflected the UAE Pro League's appreciation for the efforts of the nation's first line of defence in combating the Covid-19 pandemic. 
The event was attended by guests of honour who helped with the draw, representing various professions in the first line of defence.
The opening week sees a blockbuster clash between Al Jazira and Al Nasr at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Bur Dubai. 
Record 13-time champions Al Ain are at home at the iconic Hazza bin Zayed Stadium to Khor Fakkan, while Al Wahda host Hatta at the Al Nahyan Stadium. Al Wasl welcome Bani Yas at the Zabeel Stadium.
The second week throws up some lip smacking fixtures with Shabab Al Ahli squaring off against Al Ain at the Rashid Stadium, while Sharjah go up against Al Wahda.
Week 3 sees Al Ain host Sharjah, while Al Wahda welcome Shabab Al Ahli.
Meanwhile, the Arabian Gulf Cup draw sees defending champions Al Nasr take on either Ajman or Fujairah.
And the draw threw up some interesting fixtures with a mouth-watering match-up between Al Wahda and Al Wasl. Al Ain kick-off their campaign against Khor Fakkan, while Shabab Al Ahli are at home to Al Dhafra.
In other opening round matches, Bani Yas meet Hatta, Al Jazira take on Ittihad Kalba while  Fujairah host Ajman, with the winner going on to face Al Nasr in the quarterfinals.
The quarterfinals and the semifinals will be two-legged contests.
Last month, the UAE Pro League announced that the Arabian Gulf Cup will begin on September 3 followed by the Arabian Gulf League, the UAE top flight, on September 9. 
The Pro League took into account the UAE National team's commitments while preparing the calendar.
"The calendar took into consideration preparing players for national team duty by playing three matchweeks in the league ahead of the joint qualifiers in October 2020, and also scheduled two matchweeks in September prior to the AFC Champions League resumption to help our clubs prepare for the competition," Pro League board member and head of Technical Committee Hassan Taleb Al Marri had said last month.
The previous season of the AGL was abandoned following an emergency meeting between the UAE Football Association and the Pro League last month.
james@khaleejtimes.com


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