New UAE football season postponed until next month, confirm FA

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Arabian Gulf Cup and AGL were scheduled to begin on Thursday and next Wednesday respectively

Ahmed Barman, left, of Al Ain shadows Al Jazira's Omar Abdulrahman during the Arabian Gulf League football match at Stadium in Abu Dhabi. All photos by Pawan Singh / The National

The match was played in front of empty stands after the FA ordered all UAE matches to be played behind closed doors.

Al Ain, in purple, in action against hosts Al Jazira.

Al Ain's Laba Kodjo.

Al Ain's Caio Canedo, right, shields the ball from Al Jazira's Omar Abdulrahman.

Ahmed Barman of Al Ain, left, in action against Al Jazira's Omar Abdulrahman.

Mohamed Abdulrahman, of Al Ain, passes the ball.

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John McAuley

Sep 2, 2020

September 2, 2020

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The 2020/21 UAE football season, set to begin on Thursday, has been postponed until next month.

The announcement was made by the Football Association on Wednesday, and covers the Arabian Gulf Cup and the Arabian Gulf League (AGL). Those competitions were scheduled to begin on Thursday and next Wednesday, respectively.

A statement from the FA read: "The UAE Football Association, in coordination with the UAE Professional League, decided to postpone the start of the football season 2020/2021 until next October.

"The decision comes after coordinating with the competent authorities in the country. The new dates will be announced at a later time.”

The Arabian Gulf Cup was slated to kick off on Thursday with three matches and another three on Friday, while last season’s front-runners Shabab Al Ahli brought up the curtain on the new AGL campaign on September 9, away at Kalba. Only on Tuesday, the Pro League held a press conference in Abu Dhabi in which they discussed the season ahead.

The 2019/20 football season was cancelled in June having been suspended since March because of the coronavirus outbreak.

It was later decided that Shabab Al Ahli, who were six points clear at the top of the AGL with seven matches remaining, would not be crowned champions. Equally, the bottom two clubs at the time of the season's suspension, Hatta and Fujairah, were exempt from relegation.

On Wednesday, the UAE reported 735 new cases of Covid-19 – the highest daily tally since May 27.

Updated: September 2, 2020 06:13 PM

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