Saeed injury blow



The UAE's preparation for the final round of the 2010 World Cup qualifier took a cruel twist when experienced defender Basheer Saeed suffered a hand injury that may put him out of action for some time. The tall Al Wahda left-back is reported to have fractured a hand in Wednesday's friendly with Algeria which the UAE lost 1-0 in France. Saeed's injury comes as a huge blow with the team just three weeks from their first qualifying game with North Korea in Group 2 which also includes Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Iran.

The UAE face North Korea on Sept 6 and play Saudi Arabia just four days later, both at Abu Dhabi, as the UAE aim for only their first World Cup finals since 1990. The UAE are billed to take on a French Professional Select team at La Touquet before they head home to face Bahrain in the final friendly on Aug 29 in Abu Dhabi. The UAE began the preparation with a conditioning camp in Switzerland where they beat the Swiss Super League side Sion FC 1-0.

They then moved to France for the next stage of their preparation and will return to Abu Dhabi on Monday. apassela@thenational.ae

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