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UAE manager Van Marwijk confirms strong squad for Fifa Arab Cup in Qatar

- John McAuley

The UAE squad for the upcoming 2021 Fifa Arab Cup has been confirmed.

Manager Bert van Marwijk named a strong group yesterday for the November 30-December 18 tournament, which takes place in Qatar.

The 23-man list includes the baulk of the team that Van Marwijk has entrusted throughout the final round of qualificat­ion for the 2022 World Cup. The Al Ain goalkeeper Khalid Essa and veteran Al Wahda forward Ismail Matar have kept their places having been called up for this month’s World Cup qualificat­ion double-header against South Korea and Lebanon.

Fabio de Lima, though, is a notable absentee as the Al Wasl attacker continues to recover from a hamstring injury earlier this month. Defender Khalifa Al Hammadi and midfielder­s Majed Hassan and Khalfan Mubarak are also out recovering from injuries.

Drawn in Group B, the UAE open their campaign on November 30 against World Cup qualificat­ion group rivals Syria, before facing Mauritania three days later. They round off the group against Tunisia on December 6. All three games will be staged in Doha.

The top two teams from each of the four groups play in the quarter-finals on December 10-11, while the semi-finals will be held on December 15.

A previous version of the Arab Cup was played most recently in 2012, in Saudi Arabia, with Morocco the winners.

Although the 2021 Fifa Arab Cup represents the first under the banner of the world governing body, there has been nine previous tournament­s staged. Iraq are the most decorated team, with four titles, while Saudi Arabia are next with two.

The 32 matches will be played at six venues that will be used for next year’s World Cup.

 ?? AFP ?? UAE forward Ali Mabkhout, centre, is among the 23-man squad named by coach Bert van Marwijk for the Fifa Arab Cup
AFP UAE forward Ali Mabkhout, centre, is among the 23-man squad named by coach Bert van Marwijk for the Fifa Arab Cup

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