Sport | Football

Football fans ready for Gulf Cup final victory

Emirati fans are ready to support their team and celebrate a long-awaited victory

  • By Noor Al KhatibSocial Media Editor
  • Published: 12:00 January 18, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Hundreds of UAE football fans are expected to take full advantage of a free-flights directive from The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and fly to Bahrain on Tuesday to cheer on the country s players in their Gulf Cup semi-final against reigning champions Kuwait. The match will played at Bahrain with 7,000 supporters will be in attendance inside the Bahrain National Stadium in Riffa.
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Dubai: With the Gulf Cup final just hours away, fans in the UAE are on the edge of their seats, ready to cheer for the national team and hopefully, celebrate a victory.

After defeating Kuwait with a 1-0 score on Tuesday’s semi-final, Gulf News readers are confident that the UAE’s team will come home with the trophy.

Emirati Haider Al Zuhairi, who took the morning flight to Bahrain with his brother on Thursday, is thrilled about cheering for the UAE and their team.

He said: “They have a fantastic team and one of the best I’ve ever seen. They’ve got amazing young players and a great future ahead of them. You can see from the way they’ve been playing in the qualifying rounds and now the final, I have no doubt they’ll give it their best to win.”

Al Zuhairi is also proud of the accomplishment that the Gulf Cup means for the UAE, as well as other Arab countries, because everyone is performing at their best.

“The Gulf Cup is big for the region. To have teams like the UAE perform as well as they did, makes all Emiratis and Arabs proud. It’s a great achievement,” added Al Zuhairi.

The Dubai-based football fan is ready to support the UAE’s football team regardless of tonight’s results. He said: “The players and the management, with the support of the country’s leaders, have worked hard. The most important thing is having a local coach for them. I’m sure they’ll be a force to be reckoned with today.”

Qassim Abdullah is also eager to see the UAE team win the Gulf Cup.

He said: “I hope they win and bring the Cup to our homeland. They’re playing very well and professionally in all the games. It’ll be great for them to win as it will ensure the UAE’s name is everywhere.”

Another fellow Emirati, Atef Hareb, is also expecting a win for the UAE. “I predict the score will be 1-0, with the UAE winning. I’m quite nervous though to be honest, as it has been a while since the UAE has played a final,” said the football fan.

Twenty-three-year-old Mohammad Al Zaabi, however, is confident in the UAE’s abilities, especially following their performance in the Olympics.

He said: “They were on the Olympic team and they did great against the competition. The UAE has a strong team and captain. They’ve also got the whole country supporting them. Just look at all the planes taking fans to Bahrain to watch the game.”

Farouq Al Kamali, a football fan from Sharjah, is expecting the national team to be as “strong and confident” as they have been in the rest of their matches. Not only does he consider the Gulf Cup to be a great opportunity for the region’s teams “to meet and strengthen their relations”, but it is also a major triumph for the UAE.

The 28-year-old said: “They are the dream team we’ve been waiting for since 1990, which was called the ‘golden generation’. I’m sure they’ll do well, especially since they played against teams from all around the world in the London Olympics.”

Although Al Kamali won’t be in Bahrain to cheer and support his team in the stadium, he said his “heart will be there, supporting them”.