I am probably not alone when questioning the international success of the Saudi Pro League, and the UAE Arabian Gulf League. Although they are the most recognized leagues in the region, they still lag in comparison to overseas leagues. This is due to several factors, from the level of competition and intensity of the game, to factors that are outside of football, but in this case do.
Saudi's Al-Ahli club players celebrate after scoring a goal during their AFC Champions League group D football match against Qatar's El-Jaish club at the King Abdullah Spots City in Jeddah on May 3, 2016. Al-Ahli won the match 2-0. (AFP)
Saudi's Al-Ittihad club fans cheer on their team during their Asian Champions League group A football match against Iran's Sepahan club at the Sultan Qabous stadium in Muscat on May 4, 2016. MOHAMMED MAHJOUB / AFP
Supporters of Saudi club Al-Hilal cheer during an Asian Champions League group C football match against Emirati club Al-Jazira at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium on March 15, 2016 in Abu Dhabi. (AFP)