Athletes and technical analysts attributed the continued decline in the ADNOC Professional Football League classification, during the past six years, from the first place in the AFC classification in 2017 to the ninth place in 2022, to several reasons, including two main reasons within the AFC standard, which are: The results of the local teams declined during their participation in the previous versions of the AFC Champions League, as well as the results of the national teams, as the national team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, and finished fourth in the 2019 Asian Cup that was held in the UAE, while it failed to qualify for the last World Cup (Qatar 2022), noting at the same time that there are other reasons behind the decline in the league’s classification, represented in the fact that some clubs do not take the issue of participating in the AFC Champions League with the required seriousness, which causes a decline and poor performance of the Asian team, in addition to the quality of the competing teams for the Emirati teams. It is considered strong, because most of it is from West Asia, in addition to the Professional League, and despite the great efforts it is making to develop the league, it focuses on developing the organizational aspects of the league, and neglects the technical aspect, despite its importance.
They told «Emirates Today» that «the decline in the technical level of the UAE league reflected negatively on the results of the teams in the Asian championships, as well as on the results of the national teams during their foreign participation, so the UAE football system, represented by the Football Association, the Professional League and clubs, is required to rectify The path again, so that Emirates football can regain its position on the Asian football map.
And the UAE League ranked ninth in the continental classification in 2022, with a score of 49.169 points, while it scored 96.56 points in 2017, achieving first place.
Several factors contributed to the UAE’s league ranking first in Asia in 2017, most notably Al Ain’s qualification to the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League in 2014, and Al-Ahly youth to the AFC Champions League final in 2015, in addition to the team’s third place in the 2015 Asian Cup.
The results of the Emirati clubs witnessed a significant decline in the recent period, the most recent of which was in the last edition of the AFC Champions League 2022. In qualifying for the final price round, and will face Al Hilal Saudi Arabia on the 20th of this month, on the other hand, the results of the teams witnessed a noticeable decline.
The AFC relies in its classification of the leagues on the results of the clubs participating in the last four versions of the federation’s championships, with a rate of up to 90% for the points scored, while 10% comes for the classification of continental teams by “FIFA”, and this classification is relied upon in the distribution of countries’ seats in the tournaments. Asian.
And the Asian Football Confederation recently announced the approval of the distribution of seats for each country in the AFC Champions League, after the issuance of the classification for club competitions in 2023, as the UAE League obtained one direct seat, with the league champion directly ascending to the group league in the AFC Champions League, in addition to two seats from The preliminary rounds of the competition, while Saudi Arabia ranked first by obtaining three direct seats in the group stage, in addition to another seat from the preliminary rounds.
Nasser Al Yamahi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Fujairah Club, said, “Unfortunately, the focus was focused on the part of the Professional League on developing administrative work in the professional league, both in terms of organization and work mechanism, represented in the process of entering the masses, entry permits for matches and the media, as well as in terms of facilities, and it was overlooked in At the same time, technical development, and this matter is reflected in the results of the Emirati teams in the external participations, and at the same time, the technical level of these teams is reflected in the results of the teams at the internal and external levels.
Nasser Al-Yamahi stressed the importance of knowing where the defect might be, and working to remedy it, because there are technical data that must be developed in terms of participation and the level offered by these teams or teams.
For his part, the sports director of Al-Bataeh Club and the technical lecturer in the Asian and International Federations, Abdullah Hassan, gave a detailed explanation of the mechanism for distributing Asian seats in the professional leagues in the continent, and the reasons that negatively affect the results of the Emirati teams in the Asian championships, pointing out that the tournament system requires the teams with Half of the seat face each other, while the seat holders play directly in the group stage.
Abdullah Hassan attributed the reason for the decline in the UAE league ranking from first place in 2017 to ninth to the entry of new competitors in Asia, pointing to the quality of the teams faced by the Emirati teams, which are teams from West Asia from Iran, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are considered as a technical level higher than the Emirati teams. Thus, this matter affects the results of the Emirati teams, and negatively affects the league classification.
Abdullah Hassan asked about how Emirati clubs are preparing for the AFC Champions League, and is the competition a priority? Is it part of her plan for the season? Considering that all of these matters positively or negatively affect the UAE league classification process.
He said, “Are the clubs contracting with the type of foreign players who make the difference, aiming to focus on the local league or the Asian championships?”
And he stressed that Emirates football needs a technical plan that works to develop the level of the first team in the league, so that this will be reflected in the results of the first team.
In turn, the former Al-Nasr team manager and technical analyst, Khaled Obaid, confirmed that one of the main reasons for the decline in the UAE league ranking is the decline in the results of the teams in the Asian championships, stressing that some teams do not take the issue of participating in the Asian championships with the required seriousness, and the evidence for this is that they participate in the second row. It is not essential, which negatively affects the classification of the UAE League, calling on clubs that are not ready for Asian participation to apologize.
The reasons for the decline in the UAE league ranking
1- Club results in the latest editions of the AFC Champions League.
2- The results of the national teams, including the senior team.
3- Clubs’ interest in the local competition at the expense of Asian participation.
4- The quality of the Asian teams facing Emirati clubs is strong.
5- The Professional League’s focus on developing the organizational and administrative aspects while neglecting the technical side.
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