Jazira just pass for licensing
Al Jazira were the only team not to breeze through UAE Club Licensing for the expanded 2018/19 Arabian Gulf League.
The Pride of Abu Dhabi received their licence, but with a warning and a deadline to complete the requirements for financial criteria. This followed a periodic meeting of the First Instance Body of UAE Club Licensing at the Pro League Committee on Tuesday, at the UAE Football Association’s headquarters.
Off-the-field issues stained 2017/18 for Jazira, causing early contract terminations with exFrance anchorman Lassana Diarra and UAE forward Ahmed Khalil.
The body decided to grant national licences for the following teams in the expanded, 14-team top flight; Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club, Al Ain, Al Dhafra, Ajman, Al Nasr, Al Wahda, Al Wasl, Dibba Al Fujairah, Sharjah and Emirates Club.
This is in stark contrast to 2017/18’s inaugural vetting when five outfits – including giants Al Ain – required appeals to pass.
Special assessment will be conducted in June and July for the newly promoted clubs joining PLC competitions for 2018/19; Bani Yas, Ittihad Kalba and Fujairah.
Meanwhile, Dhafra’s summer recruitment drive has continued with the capture of Rio Ave forward Helder Guedes on a free transfer.
Guedes, 31, inked a one-year renewable deal. He joins coveted former Al Hilal midfielder Nicolas Milesi at the relegation strugglers.
Their new Portuguese signing gained global infamy last month with a woeful ‘Panenka’ penalty that caused his enraged coach to instantly substitute him on 39 minutes.
Plenty to prove: Al Jazira.