The Sudan Classico Al Hilal and Al Merreikh are set to draw a full house at the 42,000 capacity Al Jazira Club’s Mohammed bin Zayed stadium 8pm on Friday, November 2.
Already there is a buzz among the Sudanese community residing in the UAE when the country’s two football powerhouses meet for the first time in Abu Dhabi in a match that coincides with the Year of Zayed.
Ashraf Sayed Ahmed Al Cardinal, Chairman of Al Hilal, said they were arriving in Abu Dhabi on the back of their Sudan Premier League success.
“This is a one-off game but we want to play beautiful football and obviously want to win this game in front of our fans,” he said.
Al Hilal have won one and lost the other in the two meetings in the two Sudan Premier League meetings and it would be interesting to see which team emerge winners in Abu Dhabi.
Mohammed Jaafar Quraish, Secretary General of Al Merreikh, said they have had a short camp and ready for the challenge ahead.
“This meeting is regarded as a ‘Classico’ not without a reason,” he said. “These two clubs have the biggest fans both in and out of the country, and I’m sure this game will be watched by a full stadium and by fans from around the world on TV.”
More than 50 media personnel will arrive from Sudan for the match coverage of the game which will be preceded by a cultural show.
The UAE ambassador in Sudan HE Hamad Al Junaibi expressed his delight that this game was played in Abu Dhabi and provide the Sudanese community in the country an opportunity to watch two of their most popular teams away from home.
“We have always had very friendly and cordial relationship between the two countries and this event taking place in Abu Dhabi is an opportunity to thank the Sudanese community residing in the UAE,” he said.
HE Mohammed Amin Abdullah Al Karib, the Sudan ambassador to the UAE, said he was delighted that the game is played in Abu Dhabi and the work that has gone into organising this event.
“We are very thankful for the UAE for giving the Sudanese community the chance to watch two of their favourite teams in the UAE,” he said.