The wave of mergers sweeping the Arabian Gulf League has seen the competition reduced from 14 teams to 12 for 2017/18.
A UAE Football Association board meeting decided on the change on Wednesday night, in reaction to Tuesday’s shock series of amalgamations.
This followed a surprise decree from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, which saw Al Shabab, Al Ahli and promoted Dubai CSC become Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club.
Later that day, a similar edict from Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, sovereign ruler of Sharjah, created Sharjah Cultural Club from Sharjah and second division Al Shaab.
The decision to return to 12 teams for the first time since 2011/12 will be evaluated before the end of next term. A draw to set the new fixtures will be held at the UAE FA’s headquarters on Monday, replacing a now voided ceremony from a week earlier.
Sheikh Mohammed received SAADC’s chairman, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and committee members yesterday to discuss details about the switch.