The organizing committee for the AFC Futsal Championship UAE 2012 conducted one final inspection of venues to host the competition that commences at the Al Shabab and Al Wasl indoor halls from May 25.
The Higher Organising Committee for the competition visited both the venues at Al Wasl and Al Shabab and the training facilities for the teams at Al Ahli and Al Nasr to ensure that everything is in order to play host to the 16 competing teams in the May 25-June 1 event.
One of the major highlights during the inspection was the successful laying of new flooring at Al Wasl and Al Shabab, the main match venues of the competition. The flooring for the venues was specially brought in from South Korea as it is the most advanced type following world specifications to ensure easy mobility and safety of players.
The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) delegation also arrived in Dubai last week to oversee the conduct of the competition and appreciated the intensive preparations undertaken by the Local Organizing Committee.
As many as 16 teams are participating in this continental competition with the Islamic Republic of Iran the hot favourite to win yet another title. The draws were conducted earlier this year in Dubai and as the hosts UAE have been placed in Group A along with Turkmenistan, Thailand and Kyrgyzstan. Group B consists of Japan, Taiwan, Tajikistan and Lebanon; Group C is made up of Iran, Australia, Qatar and South Korea, while Group D comprises of Uzbekistan, Indonesia, China and Kuwait.
Action will begin at 12 noon on Friday with Japan taking on Lebanon in Group B and Uzbekistan facing Kuwait in Group D at Al Wasl and Al Shabab respectively.
“I am overjoyed to see the utmost efforts being exerted during the last few weeks by all the members of the organizing committees in ensuring the success of this competition,” stated Dr. Ahmed Al Sharif, Secretary General, Dubai Sports Council.
“The UAE sets a standard while hosting such competition and this partnership with the Sharjah Sports Council has further enhanced the status of this championship that is bound to get due mileage for the UAE,” he added. Meanwhile, Kuwait was among the last teams to land at the Dubai International Airport where they were welcomed by working team members from the organizing committee.
The South Korean team arrived in Dubai last week and have been going on with their final preparations for this competition with a couple of friendly matches against Lebanon and Tajikistan.
“We have been placed in one of the most competitive groups that include Australia, Qatar and Iran, one of the top favourites for the title. However, we are here to give a good account of our capability through our performances as we see the game making extreme progress in South Korea since the past few years,” noted coach Mr. Lee Chang-Hoon.
The AFC Futsal Championship UAE 2012 is being jointly organized by the Dubai Sports Council and Sharjah Sports Council under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council. The four teams making it to the semi-finals of this competition will automatically qualify for the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup to be staged in Bangkok, Thailand in November.
Group A: UAE, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan.
Group B: Japan, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Lebanon.
Group C: Iran, Australia, Qatar, South Korea.
Group D: Uzbekistan, Indonesia, China, Kuwait.
DRAW: (May 25)
Al Wasl Club: (12.00) Japan vs Lebanon; (14.30) Chinese Taipei vs Tajikistan. Al Shabab Club: (12.00) Uzbekistan vs Kuwait; (14.30) Indonesia vs PR China; (16.05-16.45) Opening Ceremony. (18.00) UAE vs Turkmenistan; (20.30) Thailand vs Kyrgyzstan. Al Shabab Club: (18.00) Australia vs Qatar; (20.30) IR Iran vs Korea Republic.
Al Wasl Club: (12.00) Lebanon vs Chinese Taipei; (14.30) Tajikistan vs Japan; (17.30) Turkmenistan vs Thailand; (20.00) Kyrgyzstan vs UAE. Al Shabab Club: (12.00) Kuwait vs Indonesia; (14.30) PR China vs Uzbekistan; (17.30) Korea Republic vs Australia; (20.00) Qatar vs IR Iran.
Al Wasl Club: (12.00) Japan vs Chinese Taipei; (14.30) Uzbekistan vs Indonesia; (17.30) IR Iran vs Australia; (20.00) UAE vs Thailand. Al Shabab Club: (12.00) Tajikistan vs Lebanon; (14.30) PR China vs Kuwait; (17.30) Qatar vs Korea Republic; (20.00) Kyrgyzstan vs Turkmenistan.