Saudi Arabia, UAE & Bahrain to take part in 24th Arabian Gulf Cup in Qatar despite blockade

Arabian Gulf Cup

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain have finally agreed to take part in this month’s 24th Arabian Gulf Cup in Qatar despite their ongoing diplomatic crisis with the 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts.

With the trio deciding not to participate in the tournament hosted by Qatar, the Gulf Cup draw was held last month with only five nations — Qatar, defending champions Oman, 10-time winners Kuwait, Iraq and Yemen — in contention.

The matches were to be held in a round-robin format from November 27 to December 6 at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha with the team finishing top of the points tally after five matchdays to be crowned the new Arabian Gulf Cup champions.

However, Saudi, UAE and Bahrain have now confirmed they have accepted invitations from the Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation to take part in the regional showpiece.

The three nations had cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in 2017 accusing them of supporting extremists and for holding close ties with rivals IR Iran.

“The Saudi Arabian Football Federation said in a tweet it had accepted the invitation to take part in the tournament. The UAE Football Association also decided to take part, the official WAM news agency said. A Gulf official said Bahrain would join those countries in a signal that the stand-off was on its way to being resolved,” Bloomberg said in a report.