UAE FA appoint new national team committee, with Michel Salgado included in fresh set-up

Future of UAE manager Bert van Marwijk remains unclear following Fifa Arab Cup exit

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Michel Salgado speaking at the Manchester United goalkeeper press conference at the Government of Dubai Media Office.  Leslie Pableo for The National
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The Football Association has confirmed its new committee to oversee the national team, with former Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado part of the latest set-up as consultant.

The national team and technical affairs committee, revised in response to the UAE’s uncomfortable exit from this month's Fifa Arab Cup, will be headed by Humaid Al Tayer, the former Al Nasr chairman. Salgado, a long-time Dubai resident, is included on a six-man board announced on Sunday night.

With the new committee now installed, the future of UAE manager Bert van Marwijk tops its agenda. The Dutchman, in his second stint in charge of the national team, has come under increased criticism since his side’s 5-0 defeat in the Fifa Arab Cup quarter-final to hosts Qatar on December 10. The UAE had qualified for the knockout stages by finishing second in their group.

The loss prompted the previous national team committee, led by FA vice-president Yousef Al Sahlawi, to resign.

Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, president of the FA, then authorised the formation of a new committee, which was tasked with evaluating the UAE’s performance in Qatar. At present, Van Marwijk’s position remains unclear.

However, the committee will be keen to clarify Van Marwijk's future given the national team resume their 2022 World Cup qualification final-round campaign at the end of next month, with a crucial home tie against Syria on January 27. Currently third in Group A after six matches, the UAE face group leaders Iran away on February 1.

Van Marwijk’s side sit on six points, eight behind South Korea in the first automatic qualification spot and 10 behind Iran. Third place remains the most likely route to Qatar 2022, albeit that comprises a series of play-offs. The UAE have only once previously participated at a World Cup, in 1990.

UAE exit Fifa Arab Cup at quarter-finals

Updated: December 20, 2021, 8:36 AM