Fans to illuminate the AFC Asian Cup, as they did in the FIFA Club World Cup

12/25/2018 12:00:00 AM Share this:

The UAE fans were a vivid illustration of the success behind the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018.

Real Madrid were crowned the champions for a third successive year, and were winning a record fourth title while the tournament host Al Ain created a piece of history as the first UAE club to reach the final.

Al Ain stunned the world when they setup a final showdown with the European champions after victories over the Oceania champions Team Wellington, the African champions Esperance de Tunis and the Copa Libertadores winner River Plate in the semi-final.

Every game, both at the Hazza bin Zayed stadium in Al Ain and the Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, drew capacity crowds, and the final between Real Madrid and Al Ain had more than 40,000 fans in attendance.

The fans contributed to the success of the event and a pat on the back to the excellent work from the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for an outstanding show that they presented throughout the 10 days.

The Club World Cup was also a timely event that served the LOC to test their work for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 which will be held in four cities – Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai and Sharjah – from January 5 to February 1.

The LOC of the Asian Cup is anticipating a similar response from the fans to fill the stadiums in every game as in the Club World Cup.

Ahmed Al Kaabi, Director of Public Relations at Al Ain Club, said they were coordinating and planning at the highest level for the Al Ain fans to get behind the UAE national team.

“We are currently working with the UAE Football Federation and the LOC, in order to bring the fans together for our games,” he said.

“The plan of action for the Asian Cup will be presented in workshop scheduled at the FA’s headquarters on Sunday.

"We, as the fans of Al Ain, are committed to support our national team at any time and any place. We have done it in the past as travelling fans and this time we’ll be behind our team when we host the 24-team tournament.”

The UAE are in Group A and meet Bahrain in the opener 8pm at the Zayed Sports City stadium in Abu Dhabi.