The President’s Cup final, scheduled to take place next week, has been postponed until next season.
Al Wahda and Sharjah were set to contest the match, the showpiece event in the UAE football calendar, at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on May 27. However, on Tuesday night the Football Association announced the encounter would now be staged "in the new season", with a venue and date to be confirmed in due course.
The rescheduling has impacted the final round of the 2021/22 Adnoc Pro League, meaning the campaign’s last match week has moved to May 25 and 26. It was originally slated for May 28 and 29. Round 25, the penultimate match week, takes place this Saturday and Sunday.
Al Ain have already secured a record-extending 14th league title. The Garden City club did so with three rounds to spare, confirming the crown with last week’s 5-0 victory against defending champions Al Jazira.
With the domestic season finishing earlier, it provides UAE national team manager Rodolfo Arruabarrena more time with his squad ahead of next month’s 2022 World Cup play-offs in Qatar. The players were initially to meet next Tuesday for a training camp in Dubai before travelling to Doha on May 30. The UAE play Gambia in a friendly on May 29.
The national team sit two matches from qualifying for only a second World Cup in the country’s history. They face Australia in the first play-off at Al Rayyan’s Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on June 7 and, should they win, then take on Peru six days later – at the same venue – for a place at the global finals later this year.