Fabio Lima
The UAE players will get plenty of support from the fans during the play-off against Australia. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The UAE will be backed by at least 5,000 fans when they take on Australia in their Asian World Cup playoff in Doha next month after their national association confirmed the acquisition of the tickets on Thursday.

Rodolfo Arruabarrena’s side meet the Australians in the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on June 7 with the winners advancing to an intercontinental playoff against Peru six days later for a place at November’s World Cup in Qatar.

Vital factor

“The public are one of the most prominent partners in UAE football… (their) role will be vital in encouraging and motivating the players during the Australia match,” UAE FA general secretary Mohammed Hazzam Al Dhaheri said. “Our national team performs better in the presence of their fans, who are with them on all occasions to support them.”

The UAE, known as The Whites, are trying to secure a World Cup place for the first time since making their debut in Italy in 1990.

Arruabarrena led them to the playoffs with a third-place finish in Group A of Asia’s preliminaries, which came after a 1-0 win over South Korea in the final round of matches. Asia will be represented at the World Cup by South Korea, Iran, Japan and Saudi Arabia, while Qatar qualify as hosts.