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Mahdi to coach UAE senior team
Hisham Al Gizouli / 14 August 2012
Former UAE Olympic national team head coach Mahdi Ali has been appointed new manager of the senior national squad, it was revealed on Monday night.
“Ali will take over from the caretaker Dr. Abdulla Misfer to prepare the team for the upcoming commitments until the end of his contract with the association in 2015,” Yousuf Al Serkal, president of the UAE football association (UAEFA) confirmed.
A special committee has been set up to discuss with Ali the details of his new job pending the signing of a separate agreement which accommodates the duties and entitlements of the newly appointed manager.
According to Al Serkal, Ali will continue his successful march with the same boys whom he has guided to win the 2008 AFC U-19 Championship in Dammam, KSA, the 2010 AGCC U-23 Cup in Doha, before finishing runners up to Japan in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China and made history by advancing for the finals of the recent 2012 London Games.
“Our immediate target is to induce the Whites to fly to new heights at the regional, continental and international levels. The senior national team will be comprised mostly of the same boys of the Olympic national team who flew the country’s flag in the Olympic Games for the first time of its history.
“We are determined to restore the glory days of the UAE’s football. And although we dream big, we are equally realistic. We need to go close during the first two years as front runners for the titles at the Asian level while keeping eye on qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia,” he said.
Al Serkal pledged that the Whites will take part in most of the regional official and friendly tournaments to gain more experience in the build up process for the big commitments.
Regarding the overall assessment of the UAE historic participation in the 2012 London Games, Al Serkal said they were not too much excited or completely disappointed with the final outcome.
“To be realistic, it’s our believe that the general impression was positive. The boys did well in the three games which they have played. Many international coaches have praised the UAE players and that’s why we have decided to go ahead with the same technical staff,” he clarified.
Meanwhile, Al Serkal said international players should remain loyal to the national teams so long as they are practicing with their respective clubs.
“No announcement will be accepted from any player to retire from the national team. No partial retirement will be entertained and a player who would like to end his international campaign should also quit the game as a whole,” he warned.
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