.. From / Amin Al-Double.
ABU DHABI, 22nd September / WAM / The Emirati-Saudi relations in the sports sector are considered a model in the field of successful partnerships that support bridges of communication between the two brotherly peoples, and enhance the values of friendship, cooperation and brotherhood, and the exchange of experiences and successful experiences over fifty years.
Since the founding of the UAE in 1971, sports were among the first sectors that looked abroad, and established dialogues, agreements, meetings and tournaments of joint initiatives with brothers and friends in various countries of the world… However, the continuous coordination and permanent cooperation with the Kingdom had a rare peculiarity that reflects the extent of congruence of visions and unity of purpose. And the agreement of interests, and the evidence abounds on the depth of relations between the two parties over the past half century.
It was the first appearance of the UAE national football team in the official foreign participations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the UAE team participated for the first time in the second Arabian Gulf Cup competitions in 1972, which was held in Saudi Arabia, and on March 19, 1972 was the first official meeting between the UAE national football team Football and his Saudi counterpart at Al-Malaz Stadium in Riyadh.
The history of Emirati sports records that the first Emirati victory in football was achieved on the land of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and that the first Emirati goal that was recorded in the Gulf championships was on its soil and bears the signature of our national team player, Suhail Salem.
In 1988, on the territory of the Kingdom, the UAE team was close to crowning the title of the Arab Gulf Cup, when it won second place in that tournament, in which it beat Bahrain with goals from Zuhair Bakheet and Mubarak Ghanem, and then overtook Kuwait with the goal of Zuhair Bakheet in a historic match because Kuwait was stronger The Gulf teams and the most winning the title at this stage.
In this tournament, at King Fahd Stadium, the Saudi and Emirati teams met, and the result was tied with two goals each in one of the strongest matches in the history of the Gulf Championship, where the UAE Zuhair Bakheet scored two goals, and the Kingdom of Abdullah Ghorab and Majed Abdullah, and in this tournament the UAE team did not win the title that was crowned The Iraqi national team played him, but he did not lose any match.
On the other hand, although Saudi football was born strong in the sixties and began its path with brilliance in the eighties, its first official crowning of the Arabian Gulf Cup was on the land of the Emirates, when Zayed Sports City hosted the twelfth edition of the Gulf Cup during the period from 3 to 16 November in 1994. On this good land, Saudi football fans and fans were on the date with the first and greatest joy, when the long-awaited dream of the Gulf Football World Cup was fulfilled. In that tournament, the golden generation in Saudi and Emirati football was present. The team won the title, and the UAE team won second place.
And only two years later, at the same stadium in Zayed Sports City, Saudi football fans were on a date with the great Asian joy, when the Saudi team crowned the continental title on December 21, 1996. It was not surprising in this tournament that the two sides of the final match were the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and it was not It is also strange that the two teams tied in the original time of the match without goals, and this confrontation was resolved only by penalty kicks in the presence of 60,000 spectators, to come out the green winner and the UAE white with its best result in the history of the Asian Championship, which was founded in 1956.
One of the situations that embodies the specificity of the partnership and cooperation between the two countries is this revealing position that took place in mid-September of 2019, when Argentine coach Bauza was technical director of the UAE national football team, and at this time, the Saudi green was preparing to participate in the World Cup finals in Russia after ensuring Qualification, and when Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk expressed his desire to leave the leadership of the Saudi national team suddenly, the Emirates Football Association did not hesitate to give up his coach in favor of the Saudi team, and Emirates Football Association officials asked Bauza to turn to lead the brotherly Saudi team, and the transfer was made In a scene like it had never happened before in the arenas of competition and football stadiums.
Sports relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia were never just competition, but they were and will remain partnership, cooperation, consensus, brotherhood and friendship. Yasser Al-Qahtani, the player of Al-Hilal and the Saudi national football team, never felt alienated in his professional experience, which he started with Al-Ain Club in 2011. On the contrary, Yasser confirmed that Al Ain’s professional experience represents one of the most prominent stations in his life, and in contrast, the Saudi League was the first choice for Emirati football star Omar Abdul Rahman when he moved to Al Hilal in 2018.
In appreciation of the role of the UAE and the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul, the founder of the Emirates, the Arab Football Association, based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was keen to name the “Zayed Cup” for the Arab Champions Clubs Championship in the 2019/2020 season and that the final match would be held in the UAE. .
There are many commonalities in the sports sector between the two countries. When the UAE led the Arab Gulf states and made great efforts in establishing the Boxing and Jiu-Jitsu Federations, the first goal of our federations in those games was to transfer their expertise to Saudi and Gulf sports, and thanks to the cooperation and partnership between the two parties, the Boxing and Jiu-Jitsu Federations were established to take their place in the sport The Kingdom begins to qualify and manufacture champions in order to rise to the podiums in regional and continental championships, and cooperation and partnership remains a prominent title in the two brotherly countries in equestrian sport, which is one of the oldest Gulf sports and most closely related to the history of the two countries.
On the other hand, the Emirati fencing sport benefited from the experiences of the Saudi Federation, which was founded in the sixties of the last century, and the two countries exchanged experiences in that game until Saudi Arabia and the UAE became among the most powerful Arab and Gulf countries.
Regarding this successful partnership, and on the occasion of the Saudi National Day, His Excellency Yousef Al-Batran, Board Member of the Emirates Jiu-Jitsu Federation, Chairman of the Emirates Club and Chairman of the Football Company, stressed that celebrating the Saudi National Day is an inherent right of the people of the Emirates, because the days of the homeland in the Kingdom belong to all the people of the Emirates. He pointed out that the most prominent example of this is the identification of joy in all sectors of the UAE with its sisters in Saudi Arabia, and the celebrations in all stadiums, squares and public squares on this good occasion.
He said: “I was most pleased with the distinguished level with which the jiu-jitsu champions from the Kingdom appeared in the recent Asian championship hosted by the UAE, and I spoke with members of the Saudi delegation about the development of the game in the Kingdom, and that this development is in the interest of the UAE national team, and the Emirates Jiu-Jitsu Federation always opens its doors to the Federation. And the Saudi national teams, and welcomes all kinds of partnership and cooperation with them.”