The Higher Committee of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 has finalized all arrangements to host the grand continental event scheduled to be held during 5th January to 1st February 2019 in eight stadiums. 22 years elapsed since UAE organized this competition for the first time in 1996.
The competent committees responsible for the organization of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 tested all the equipment to be used and ensured all arrangements are in place during the tour of the AFC delegations in the stadiums of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Al Ain. The purpose of the field tour was to validate the readiness and ensure arrangements are in line with the requirements to host the championship, particularly that the countdown for the championship has already kicked off as 91 days are left to the inauguration ceremony.
The Higher Committee has assigned 8 stadiums in four cities to host 51 matches with the participation of 24 national teams for the first time of the history of the championship. This indeed gives the 17th edition of the championship special uniqueness and elegance considering that the UAE is the organizer of this wholly new championship.
Noteworthy, H.E. Windsor John Dato, the Secretary General of the AFC, launched 10 days ago the countdown for inaugurating the championship at the Zayed Sports City in the presence of representatives of all the participating teams. H.E. Mr. Windsor underlined that the FCS has great expectations in the success of the UAE to organize such a grand competition and full trust that everyone has in the UAE as the best country to organize the wholly new championship in terms of the number of participating teams. He hailed all renovations made to the sports facilities and logistics which is not unusual for the UAE known to constantly host deferent global sport competitions.
During the last few days, the AFC delegation visited Abu Dhabi City to follow up the recent renovations of the sport facilities, including: Madinat Zayed Sports Stadium, Al Nahyan Stadium in Al Wahda Club, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium of Al Jazira Club. These stadiums will be hosting all matches scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi City, in addition to the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium and Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain City.
The AFC delegation was received in Abu Dhabi City by Yousef Al Bloushi, Mohammed Al Romaithi, Bader Al Harethi and Mohammed Al Mustaka. They escorted the delegation members during their filed visits to the stadiums where they were briefed on all equipment and measures taken to make the Abu Dhabi three facilities ready to host the coming grand sport event. Worth mentioning that the Al Nahyan Stadium has been subject to major renovations including the spectator’s standings and viewing stand in preparation for the Asian grand event. The delegation members also visited the Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Tahnoon Bin Mohammed Stadium in Al Qattara, Al Ain Football School and football field of Persons of Determination Centre. The tour included also the internal facilities of the stadiums including: changing rooms, the technical zone for players’ entry, mix media zone, doping test room, match commissioner zone, the medical clinic, the press conference room, the meeting room assigned for the qualifying and coordination meetings. The delegation members hailed the comprehensive preparations and the well-organized efforts exerted to host this unique Asian sport event.
The AFC delegation members were accompanied by representatives of the participating teams, including: Australia, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, Yemen, Jordan, Qatar, UAE, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam, Syria, North Korea, Uzbekistan, China and Japan, in addition to match commissioners and member of Al Ain Group.
Moreover, H.E. Issa Hilal Al Huzami, Secretary General of Al Sharjah Sports Council and Director of Al Sharjah Group, along with Dr. Ihab Salem, Executive Director of Sharjah Club and Officer in Charge of the matches to be held in Al Sharjah, received the AFC delegation members at Sharjah Club to review the progress of the renovation processes of the Oval Stadium assigned to host the matches of Al Sharjah Group.
Al Huzami welcomed the visiting delegation and reassured that the sport facility is fully ready to host the coming event while leaving the floor to the delegation members to address any questions or remarks that would help further improve the facilities and better serve the goals of the championship.
The delegation toured all the facilities of the stadium, including the media representatives’ room, VIP room, the field of the stadium, the changing room, referees’ rooms and other facilities. By the end of the tour, a meeting was held to discuss certain remarks and listen to answers of the officers in charge.
Likewise, the AFC delegation visited Rashid Stadium and Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai where a number of the matches of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 is scheduled to be held. Colonel Hamad bin Dilan, Director of the Dubai Group, briefed the visiting delegation headed by Shin Man Jill, Director of the AFC Championships, on the progress achieved regarding preparing and renovating the facilities and work plans of the Dubai Group. An extensive meeting was held in the presence of the members of the teams from both sides. The Asian delegation expressed their satisfaction with all precise onsite preparations and work plans. They expressed their full confidence that completing all onsite works according to the highest quality standards.