FA rejects Al Ain's protest bid

The UAE FA appeals committee has rejected Al Ain's request, meaning that for the 2011/12 season Al Ain's first two home games will be played instead at neutral sites.

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Al Ain's bid to have a two-game, home-match ban overturned has been rejected by the appeal committee of the UAE Football Association, and the team will play their first two "home" matches of the 2011/12 season at neutral grounds.

Al Ain had been penalised two weeks ago when the FA disciplinary committee ruled that "fans abused a player from the opponents" during Al Ain's home game against Al Wasl on May 20.

The penalty was to have begun on June 1, with a home match against Al Jazira moved to the Baniyas ground. But the appeal filed by relegation-threatened Al Ain led to the ban being postponed until the appeal was heard.

In front of 6,058 fans at their home ground, Al Ain defeated Jazira 4-1, the only defeat suffered by Jazira for the league season.

The three points secured Al Ain's place in the top flight for 2011/12.

Now that the appeal committee has rejected Al Ain's bid "with costs", the UAE's most-decorated side will play their first two league matches at neutral venues when the new Pro League season begins in September.