UAE dealt a blow as midfielder Mubarak ruled out

UAE dealt a blow as midfielder Mubarak ruled out
Omar Abdulrahman during a practice match in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. - Twitter

Dubai - The playmaker will miss the World Cup qualifier against Malaysia due to injury

By James Jose

Published: Fri 6 Sep 2019, 9:26 PM

Last updated: Fri 6 Sep 2019, 11:30 PM

The UAE football team were dealt a blow ahead of their Asia Zone World Cup qualifying opener after midfielder Khalfan Mubarak was ruled out due to injury.
The 24-year-old suffered an injury during training which puts him out of action for two weeks. It means that the Al Jazira playmaker will miss the UAE's opening Group G fixture against Malaysia at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on September 10.
Though Mubarak's absence is a big loss, coach Bert van Marwijk has a 25-man squad at his disposal and has adequate cover.
The UAE, who also have Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia in their group, touched down in Kuala Lumpur early to get acclimatized to the conditions.
The Whites flew out on Wednesday morning and set up their base ahead of second round of qualifiers. The UAE were among the 34 teams to receive a bye into the second round of qualifying, which also doubles up as qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in China.
Dr Hassan Suhail, the team's supervisor said that the squad's early arrival in Malaysia has helped them get used to the climes.
"The squad decided to leave early to the Malaysian capital so that the team could have ample time to train as well as learn about the conditions they will face, including the weather as well as the time difference," said Suhail.
"Everyone is aware of the importance of the first game in these qualifiers and I think that achieving a positive result against Malaysia will act as a strong motivation for rest of the clashes in this group," he added.
And Suhail has full confidence that this team will do well in the qualifiers.
"These players are confident and have a strong ambition. We have a strong group of outstanding players who have the ability to provide the best performance and achieve results that will put the team on the right path. We, as staff, have to help the players at this important stage," Suhail remarked.
The squad had previously undergone camps in Salzburg, Austria in July and in Bahrain late last month.

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