The Pro League Committee announced the schedule following a meeting at the Football Association’s headquarters on Monday, with the Arabian Gulf Super Cup – the traditional curtain-raiser for the football season – between Al Jazira and Al Wahda taking place on September 15.
The 2017/18 Arabian Gulf League is slated to begin on September 16, the Pro League Committee (PLC) confirmed on Tuesday.
The PLC announced the schedule following a meeting at the Football Association’s headquarters on Monday, with the Arabian Gulf Super Cup – the traditional curtain-raiser for the football season – taking place on September 15. The match, which could be set for Egypt, pits reigning Arabian Gulf League champions Al Jazira against President’s Cup winners Al Wahda.
The football season will actually commence earlier in the month, though, with the revamped Arabian Gulf Cup kicking off officially on the weekend of September 8. Al Ain have been given special dispensation to play their opening match on September 4 because of their Asian Champions League commitments.
The 2016 runners-up, still the only UAE side to win the continental crown, face Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal in the two-legged quarter-final on August 21 and September 11. The UAE national team also play during that period, as they will most likely conclude their 2018 World Cup qualification campaign on September 5 against Iraq.
Given the World Cup begins on June 14, the 2017/18 Arabian Gulf League season will finish on April 29, two weeks earlier than last season. The UAE top flight has been reduced from 14 teams to 12 following the mergers of Al Ahli, Al Shabab and Dubai club, and Sharjah and Al Shaab. The two new entities will be known as Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club and Sharjah Cultural Club.
Speaking at Monday’s PLC meeting, Waleed Al Hosani, the body’s acting chief executive, said: “Today, we will present essential projects that will create a substantial shift in terms of marketing and increased revenue generation. We hope the clubs support these projects as the foundation of their success depends on cooperation to reach the desired results. We all aspire to the same goal, which is the development and progress of Emirati football.”