Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 24 November 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: FA postpones Arabian Gulf League and all other football in UAE

Al Jazira’s 3-1 victory against Al Ain in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night was the last fixture to be played before the decision was taken to shut down the league.

All football that falls under the auspices of the UAE Football Association has been postponed with immediate effect, the governing body announced on Sunday.

The new provision, a continuation of precautionary measures taken in response to the coronavirus, includes competitions organised by the Football Association (FA), the UAE Pro League, national-team activities, the women’s football committee, the futsal committee and private academies.

It applies for up to the next four weeks, although the situation will be reevaluated once that period concludes.

As such, both the 2019/20 Arabian Gulf League (AGL) and its Under-21 league will cease to continue for that allotted time, at least.

“The UAE Football Association has decided to suspend all football activities in UAE for the season 2019-2020 from Sun 15 Mar 2020 up to four weeks, in coordination with the competent authorities in the country, and due to the precautionary procedures against the new coronavirus known as 'Covid-19',” the FA said. “There will be a reassessment to the medical condition after the end of the period mentioned.

“The UAE Football Association was keen to take this decision following the instructions issued by the competent authorities in the country to take precautionary and preventive measures to preserve the safety of all members of society, citizens and residents.

“The Football Association appreciates the efforts made by the competent authorities in the country to maintain a safe community.”

The announcement comes less than 24 hours following a statement released by the AGL on Saturday night, which stated those two competitions would continue on the previously revised schedule. However, the statement did highlight that the situation would be continuously assessed with the concerned authorities.

The past two rounds – 18 and 19 – had taken place without fans in attendance, with Al Jazira’s 3-1 victory against Al Ain in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night proving the last fixture to be played before the decision was taken to shut down the league.

With seven rounds remaining, Shabab Al Ahli top the standings, six points ahead of second-placed Al Ain. Jazira sit third, one point further back.

Last Thursday, the FA announced that competitive matches in categories from U12s to U17s had been postponed. It was followed swiftly on Saturday with the decision to suspend all U19s competition too, including women’s football, futsal and football academies, until further notice.

Updated: March 15, 2020 07:33 PM

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