Gulf Cup biennial football kicks off in Bahrain

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Eight Arab football teams have arrived in Bahrain ahead for the 21st Gulf Cup biennial football tournament due to kick off on Jan.5 and will last for about two weeks.

Teams from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Yemen, and Iraq arrived in the small island country of Bahrain that is the hosting Gulf Cup of Nations 2013, the Gulf Cup official website reported on Thursday.

The battlefield heats up as all the eight participating teams, which are categorized under four groups will battle in the football field for the 21st edition title trophy. The Bahrain National Stadium will host the tournament that will feature opening ceremony and followed by two matches.

Bahrain, the host players will kick-start their title pursuit against previous champions Oman, which will be followed by UAE match against the Qatar team.

However, UAE is keen to give a “special performances” during the intense match at the Gulf Cup to become one of Asia’s finest teams.

Member of the UAE FA National Teams Council and general supervisor of the national team, Mohammed Obaid, said: “This tournament acts as the first stop of the journey of the new coaching staff that took over the reins of the team last August,” UAE’s Sports 360 reported on Thursday.

Retired Emirati footballer and coached UAE national football team for 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Mahdi Ali trained the team for the Gulf Cup 2013 triumph against the Gulf’s competitive rivals.

“The coaching staff has a certain vision that is based on using the players they have coached through the youth and Olympic teams because they understand each other well which has been evident during the training period,” Obaid said.

He added that the UAE has participated in seven tournaments that have pushed the team in FIFA’s ranking status from 121 to 96. However the pinnacle for UAE to win the game’s title lies in the initial match faceoff against the Qatar team.
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