UAE FA to appoint new national team committee to assess Fifa Arab Cup exit

National team beaten 5-0 in quarter-finals by Qatar, increasing pressure on manager Bert van Marwijk

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Bert van Marwijk’s future as UAE manager remains unclear, as the Football Association awaits the formation of a new national team and technical affairs committee to review the side’s recent performance at the Fifa Arab Cup.

The FA held an emergency meeting at their headquarters on Monday evening after the UAE exited the competition on Friday when they were beaten 5-0 in the quarter-final by hosts Qatar. The result led to renewed calls from UAE fans for Van Marwijk to leave his role.

On Monday, the FA confirmed that the national team committee would be changed, with the body accepting the resignation of Yousef Al Sahlawi, the second vice-president of the FA and head of the committee. Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, the FA president, authorised the formation of a new committee, which will be tasked with evaluating the team’s Fifa Arab Cup display.

The UAE resume their 2022 World Cup qualification campaign at the end of next month, with a pivotal home tie against Syria on January 27 before they take on Iran away five days later. After six matches in the final round, the national team sit third in Group A, eight points off automatic qualification.

Currently, Iran top the standings, with South Korea in second. Third place does still carry the possibility of reaching next year’s tournament in Qatar, via a series of play-offs.

Van Marwijk, who led Saudi Arabia’s successful qualification to the 2018 World Cup, is in his second stint as UAE manager. He was reinstated last December, almost exactly one year since initially leaving his position. His previous tenure lasted nine months.

Updated: December 14, 2021, 7:57 AM