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Manager seeks government boost for beach soccer

Al Ahli feels current team capable of earning fifth World Cup entry next year

Gulf News

Dubai: The manager of the UAE Beach Soccer team has called on the government to intervene and ensure the country puts up their best squad at every international competition.

The UAE squad of 20 is currently preparing for the Sixth Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup Dubai to be held in the first week of November, but without some key players who are unavailable due to work commitments. Missing the one-month training camp are at least three crucial national team players — Rami Al Mussabi and Hassan Ali, both due to work, and the diminutive Adil Al Rahi, who unfortunately is recovering from a previous injury.

“The UAE did well in winning the Arab Beach Soccer Championships held in Egypt. But we could not maintain our form while participating at international tournaments held in China and Morocco thereafter. We need to be professional when it comes to sports. Government departments need to release players as they are serving the nation,” team manager Khalil Mohammad Al Ahli told Gulf News.

“We should look at other countries such as Japan who have already visited Brazil for training camps on at least three occasions this year itself. We too deserve at least a good budget so that these players can compete against the best teams in the world. We have this current crop of players who can do well at any level and against any team. But in the first place we need to have all our players together,” he added.

The UAE has so far played four times in the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup while twice being crowned Asian champions. Their next big assignment after the Intercontinental Cup will be the AFC Beach Soccer Championships that will determine the three best Asian teams making it to the 2017 Fifa World Cup to be held in the Bahamas from April 27 to May 7 next year.