H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Al Jazira Club, stated that the UAE’s hosting of the FIFA Club World Cup in 2017 and 2018 represents major progress and a new addition that will support the country’s sports sector and strengthen its international leadership.
In his statements regarding the championship, Sheikh Mansour highlighted the key role of these international sporting events and their impact on the UAE’s development plans for sports while adding that the championship is a historic opportunity for Emirati teams to compete with prominent club champions from other continents, which will improve the level of UAE football. He also stressed the importance of achieving positive results, to coincide with the country’s successes in other sectors.
He called on the UAE public to support the Al Jazira Club, the current champions of the Gulf Arab League, which will represent the nation in the upcoming international championship while adding that the support and cheers of the UAE public are an important motivation for the club’s players to achieve success. It will help them win their opening game against Auckland City FC from New Zealand and progress to the second round to face the champions of Asia.
He also called on the Emirati community to take part in international sporting events hosted by Abu Dhabi in the Sheikh Zayed Sports City and the Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.
Sheikh Mansour praised the preparations of the National Supreme Committee organising the UAE FIFA Club World Cup, led by Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, Abu Dhabi Police Commander-General, while noting that hosting the event will promote international partnerships with FIFA, federations from various continents and the participating clubs, as well as achieve important economic, tourism and promotional benefits. The championship is also a good opportunity to train national volunteers to acquire organisational skills, he concluded.