Salem Masoud, left, is being challenged by his coach at Al Jazira, Franky Vercauteren, to fight to win his place on the first team back.
Salem Masoud, left, is being challenged by his coach at Al Jazira, Franky Vercauteren, to fight to win his place on the first team back.

Franky Vercauteren wants Salem Masoud to fight for his spot



Franky Vercauteren, the Al Jazira coach, has challenged Salem Masoud to win his place back in the Jazira team after giving the defender the all clear to return to first-team action.

Masoud has been out of action since he was involved in a car accident on November 29, along with Al Wahda's Fernando Baiano and a taxi. Both players spent time in police custody.

Jazira face Al Shabab in the President's Cup on Sunday at a the neutral venue of the Tahnoun bin Mohammed stadium in Al Ain.

Vecauteren said he would decide between Masoud and Sami Rubaiya for a spot in the team.

"From my side, I have done what I can do for him," said the Belgian, when he was asked about Masoud's future at the club. "There is no question about his future at the club. The club management has had an inquiry and he has been cleared to train with the team.

"Whatever happened is now behind us. He has been training with the team for more than a week. We have a big squad and everyone fighting to be in the first team line-up. I am encouraged by that. I will look for the best option between Masoud and Rubaiya when we pick the final squad."

The 22 year old's driving licence was suspended for three months and he was fined Dh 23,000 before being released from police custody. Masoud's last appearance for the club was in the 1-0 away win over Al Wasl in the league on November 2.

Jazira, who beat Wahda in the final of the President's Cup last season, suffered their first league defeat at the hands of Shabab 3-2 last week.

Vercauteren said Shabab were one of the teams that had made the biggest impression on him this season.

"They have not only got good individual skills, but they fight, are well organised, have the ability to hold on to possession and gel well as a team," he said.

Elsewhere, Martin O'Neill, the manager of English Premier League side Sunderland, plans to contact striker Asamoah Gyan, next week amid speculation he could be recalled from his loan spell at Al Ain.

The Ghana striker, 26, was loaned to Al Ain in August after becoming unsettled at the start of the season.

His departure, following those of Darren Bent and Danny Welbeck, left the club short of frontmen.

Cosmin Olaroiu, the Al Ain manager, said last week that he expected Gyan to stay in the UAE for the rest of the season and, while the prospects of the forward returning to England is remote, O'Neill, who took charge of Sunderland two weeks ago, still plans to make a call out of courtesy.

"The chief executive gave me his number, I haven't had a chance to call it," O'Neill said.

"Really, it was just a matter of me introducing myself to him as much as anything else and finding out how the land lies."

The specs

Engine: 6-cylinder, 4.8-litre
Transmission: 5-speed automatic and manual
Power: 280 brake horsepower
Torque: 451Nm
Price: from Dh153,00
On sale: now

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Non-oil trade

Non-oil trade between the UAE and Japan grew by 34 per cent over the past two years, according to data from the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre. 

In 10 years, it has reached a total of Dh524.4 billion. 

Cars topped the list of the top five commodities re-exported to Japan in 2022, with a value of Dh1.3 billion. 

Jewellery and ornaments amounted to Dh150 million while precious metal scraps amounted to Dh105 million. 

Raw aluminium was ranked first among the top five commodities exported to Japan. 

Top of the list of commodities imported from Japan in 2022 was cars, with a value of Dh20.08 billion.

Sweet Tooth

Creator: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen
Rating: 2.5/5

How to register as a donor

1) Organ donors can register on the Hayat app, run by the Ministry of Health and Prevention

2) There are about 11,000 patients in the country in need of organ transplants

3) People must be over 21. Emiratis and residents can register. 

4) The campaign uses the hashtag  #donate_hope

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices


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