Dubai: Star midfielder Omar Abdul Rahman is a notable absentee in the 24-man UAE squad that will bid for the 24th edition of the Arabian Gulf Cup starting on Tuesday in Doha.
Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk’s UAE squad for the region’s top football competition was announced late on Sunday night, with the team flying out on a private jet early Monday morning.
Al Jazira playmaker Abdul Rahman captained the UAE recently but misses out as it was decided he should continue rehabilitation for his injuries in Barcelona, from where he had recently joined the team camp for its three training sessions in Dubai last week.
Top scorer Ali Mabkhout will spearhead the UAE’s attack during the competition.
The Whites, twice winners, as hosts in 2007 and at the 2013 renewal in Bahrain, have been drawn in Group A alongside hosts Qatar, Iraq and Yemen and start their campaign on Tuesday against the Yemenis at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha.
The UAE face Iraq in their second game on November 29 and lock horns with hosts Qatar in their final game on December 2.
Group B, meanwhile, comprises defending champions Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
A group of 28 had been initially assembled for the camp in Dubai, which saw the UAE train at the Theyab Awana complex within the UAE Football Association premises in Khawaneej and later at Wasl Club.
As far as broadcasts are concerned all of the main sports networks in each of the participating countries are expected to televise the games live, meaning fans in the UAE should be able to catch the action live on Abu Dhabi and Dubai Sports channels.
Goalkeepers: Ali Khaseif, Khalid Eisa, Mohammed Al Shamsi, Adel Al Hosani
Defenders: Mohammed Marzooq, Mohammed Barghash, Khalifa Al Nubi, Yousef Jaber, Al Hassan Saleh, Hamdan Al Kamali
Midfielders: Mohammed Al Attas, Majid Sorour, Khalil Al Hammadi, Bandar Al Ahbabi, Ismail Al Hammadi, Abdullah Ramadan, Ahmed Barman, Salem Rashid, Tariq Ahmed
Forwards: Ali Mabkhout, Ahmed Khalil, Khalfan Mubarak, Jassem Yaqoub, Ali Saleh
Tuesday: UAE v Yemen
Friday: UAE v Iraq
Dec 2: UAE v Qatar