UAE FA seeks new president and coach as Sheikh Rashid resigns and Arruabarrena departs

News of Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi's departure comes less than 24 hours after the draw for 2023 Asian Cup in Doha

Rodolfo Arruabarrena has parted ways with the UAE FA less than 24 hours after the draw for the 2023 Asian Cup draw. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi has resigned from his position as president of the Football Association.

In a statement on Friday, the FA said: “Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, the president of the UAE Football Association, has submitted his resignation as the president of the board of directors of the Football Association.

“In accordance with the federation's internal regulations articles, the board of directors will convene a meeting on Sunday, May 14, 2023, to discuss the development.”

Sheikh Rashid, who began his tenure as FA president in early 2020, was on Friday confirmed as vice-president of the National Olympic Committee.

The announcement of Sheikh Rashid’s departure from the FA comes less than 24 hours after the draw for the 2023 Asian Cup in Doha. There, the UAE were placed in Group C alongside three-times winners Iran, Hong Kong and Palestine. The tournament, initially slated for China this summer, takes place in Qatar from January 12-February 10.

The national team, semi-finalists in 2015 and then 2019 as hosts, will also have to appoint a new manager after the decision was taken not to extend Rodolfo Arruabarrena’s contract beyond its current deal.

The Argentine’s agreement, announced in February last year, was to run through until this July – when the Asian Cup was initially to finish. Arruabarrena’s departure was on good terms.

Appointed towards the end of qualification for the 2022 World Cup, the former Al Wasl and Shabab Al Ahli manager guided the UAE through to the play-offs for the Qatar finals, where they lost to Australia. In January, the UAE contested the Gulf Cup of Nations, but exited the tournament at the group stage.

The UAE represented Arruabarrena’s first experience of international management. He is expected to return to club football, with potential opportunities arising in the region, Europe and South America.

Updated: May 13, 2023, 4:27 PM