Jazira just pass for li­cens­ing

Sport360 - - Football - By Matt Mon­aghan @mattmon­aghan360 mattmon­aghan@sport360.com

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.

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