The Football Association has entered a collaboration with FIFA+, the world governing body’s digital streaming platform, to showcase UAE football.
The platform, which was launched in April, will offer free access to matches from the President’s Cup and First Division, with Second Division and Third Division games to follow “in the near future”.
Coverage of UAE football will begin with this month’s President’s Cup final between Sharjah and Al Wahda. The match, the showpiece event in the Emirati football calendar, was postponed last season. It takes place at Al Ain’s Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on October 21.
Speaking about the new collaboration with "Fifa+", Mohammed Hazzam Al Dhaheri, FA general secretary, said in a statement: "We are very pleased to sign this partnership with 'FIFA+', the distinguished digital platform, because it contains various football programs that are suitable for all those who belong to the world of football from players, coaches and fans who love clubs and national teams, as well as the direct transmission of a large group of matches in various tournaments around the world.
“This agreement represents a major shift for the competitions organised by our Football Association, whether the President’s Cup or the First Division league and some matches of our national teams, as this agreement will provide the opportunity for millions around the world to follow our local matches.
"The beginning will be in the final the President's Cup between Al Wahda and Sharjah on October 21.”
"Fifa+" is available on 10 languages, including Arabic. The platform offers access to all men’s and women’s Fifa World Cup matches "ever recorded on camera", with plans by the end of this year to stream 40,000 live games per year from 100 member associations across all six confederations.
"Fifa+" also features original documentaries, docuseries, talk shows and shorts, with a number relating to Gulf football. “Diego in Dubai”, chronicles Diego Maradona’s time managing and living in the UAE.
Charlotte Burr, director of strategy & digital for Fifa, said: “For the first time ever, our [Member Associations] can seamlessly tap into a truly global football fan base and grow a direct relationship with it on a daily basis.
“We are proud to work side by side with UAE Football Association and are excited about helping to really grow the game across Middle East and beyond.”