UAE fixture changes not all bad

The Arabian Gulf League kick-off will change from August 19 to the middle of September, which may cause some problems with pre-season and the UAE national team’s schedules.

The change is due to the Kuwaiti Football Association’s decision on Monday to postpone the Gulf Cup of Nations by a year. The reason given is that work needs to be done to stadiums in order to host the event.

The Pro League Committee (PLC) are likely to confirm the date change for the start of the season shortly.

The UAE national team is currently preparing for the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign which begins next month, with the Gulf Cup being cancelled this could be a blessing in disguise for the national team.

UAE coach Mahdi Ali's side open their World Cup qualifying campaign on September 3 against Malaysia in Abu Dhabi and then against Palestine five days later.

Though a lack of matches for the national side may seem like bad preparation ahead of the qualifiers it may be not be a bad thing, as players are less likely to pick up injuries early in the season plus they are able to spend more time getting used to each other and gelling as a team.

When contacted on Monday an official at the FA would not comment on any changes to the fixture schedule only referring the matter to the Arabian Gulf League and the PLC.

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