Dubai: Football in the UAE will re-commence sometime in August after due consultations with the concerned authorities, as per a statement issued by the UAE Pro League, late on Wednesday.
“The UAE Pro League is following up with the relevant UAE authorities on the latest developments concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and the hard work that is being carried out to protect all members of society,” the statement read.
“After analysing the situation with the relevant authorities, the UAE Pro League has decided, in coordination with the UAE Football Association, a plan for its competitions to resume in August 2020,” the statement added.
The UAE Pro League was stopped after 19 rounds of matches in the first half of March. With seven more rounds yet to be contested, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai are at the top of the standings with 43 points, followed by former 13-time champions Al Ain in second with 37 points, while Al Jazira are in third with 36 points.
“This provisional plan will be evaluated continuously in collaboration with the national authorities, the UAE Football Association and the Asian Football Confederation,” the statement said.
“The UAE Pro League will determine the changes to regulations and decision-making mechanisms related to its competitions in due course, taking into consideration the announcement will give clubs a suitable time to prepare properly,” it concluded.
The UAE Football consists of four main competitions through a season that normally commences sometime in August and concludes by the end of April at the latest with the lucrative UAE President’s Cup.
This season, the organisers could conclude just the one-off season starting Arabian Gulf Super Cup and the Arabian Gulf Cup that was won by Al Nasr with a narrow 2-1 win over cross-city rivals and defending champions, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai, in January.
Earlier in the semi-finals, Al Nasr had beaten Al Ain 4-1 on penalties after drawing 1-1 in normal time at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, while Shabab Al Ahli Dubai defeated Al Jazira 4-2 also on penalties after they had drawn 2-2 at the full-time whistle at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
However, after that final on January 18, the season pulled on for another two weeks without any spectators allowed into the stadiums till a total shutdown was declared prior to Round 20 of the Arabian Gulf League in mid-March.