UAE players call on fans to push side's World Cup play-off bid against Australia

National team, who face Australia in Qatar on Tuesday, stand two matches from a second global finals

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The UAE players have urged the team’s supporters to help boost their bid to reach the World Cup, while promising to give everything on the pitch in next week’s play-off against Australia in Qatar.

The national team, currently training in Doha, stand two matches away from a second appearance for the country at a global finals, with the first assignment against Australia on Tuesday.

Victory at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium would then set up a decisive clash with Peru on June 13 at the same venue, where the winner will earn a spot at Qatar 2022.

The UAE will almost certainly enjoy the majority of support in Doha, with the Football Association providing 5,000 match tickets for fans. By Thursday, five days out from the Australia encounter, registration for the tickets was full.

Speaking from the UAE's base in Doha, midfielder Abdullah Ramadan said: "We players will fight on the field, and we promise to provide everything we can on the pitch in order to seize our chance to qualify for the final play-off against Peru.

“We know the coming match against Australia will not be easy, but we are waiting for the great support from our fans, because their presence is the most important motivating factor. It raises morale and increases the ambition and enthusiasm in the hearts of the players during the next match."

Bandar Al Ahbabi, the UAE right-back, said preparations for Australia are on track – the national team arrived in the Qatari capital on Monday night – and echoed Ramadan’s sentiments in that the players would give their all on the pitch.

The Al Ain defender added: “In qualifying for the World Cup, we also need the support of the UAE fans, so that the picture is complete. Everyone plays their role, whether inside or outside the stadium.”

On the threat posed by Australia, who are seeking to reach a fifth successive World Cup, Al Ahbabi said: “The match against Australia is certainly difficult, but it is not impossible for the team. We have self-belief. However, the presence of the fans behind the team will have a positive impact on all players."

The UAE's only World Cup appearance to date was in 1990.

Updated: June 03, 2022, 9:31 AM