President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Saturday received at Al Rawdha Palace in Al Ain the UAE national football team which won the 21st Gulf Cup. Image Credit: WAM

Al Ain: President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has granted Dh50 million to the UAE national football team for winning the 21st Gulf Cup in Manama, Bahrain on Friday. He received the the victorious team in Al Ain Saturday.

After greeting the team members at Al Rawda Palace, Shaikh Khalifa said the UAE team had succeeded in bringing happiness to everyone in the country and said the celebration of such achievements gave a great chance to express solidarity and sentiment towards the country. 

“We all have to stand by the team and develop their abilities and skills to hold the UAE flag high in all regional and international sports events,” Shaikh Khalifa said to team members at the reception.

Shaikh Khalifa also congratulated the UAE people and said that sports have become an important field where the country is keen on enhancing.

He stressed his keenness on continuing support for the athletes and sports activities in the UAE.

Rewards pour in 

Meanwhile, offers of rewards have started to pour in for the team members.

Shaikha Hind Bint Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, donated Dh25 million to the football team.

The sons of His Higness Shaikh Hamdam Bin Rashid al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, expressed their appreciation to the team's effort, with Shaikh Rashid and Shaikh Saeed offering Dh12 million in "appreciation of the achievement made by the team", WAM reported.

News agency Barq Al Emirates has reportedly offered Dh41,000 reward to UAE player Omar Abdul Rahman, who was named best player.

The UAE Football Association has dedicated the Gulf Cup title to the leadership and the people of the UAE and the fans of the team.

UAEFA President Yousuf Al Serkal said the Cup was in recognition of their huge support to sports and the team and was also dedicated to the fans who backed the team and contributed to making the remarkable achievement.

"I thank the people of the UAE and fans who have strong belief in the players' abilities," Al Serkal remarked as he lifted the trophy at the National Stadium in Manama on Friday night.

The UAE's coach, Mahdi Ali, said "I am proud of being the first national coach to lead the UAE to claim their Gulf Cup title, for the second time ever, and for the first time abroad. I am extremely happy that I am the first Emirati to lead our team to this victory. It is really wonderful."