Fujairah beat Premier League clubs to Hassan Yebda signature

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Huge coup: Hassan Yebda (r) represented his nation at this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

Fujairah have beaten competition from English Premier League clubs Swansea City and West Bromwich to close on completing a deal to sign Algeria midfielder Hassan Yebda.

The 30-year-old is expected to imminently seal a move on a free transfer to the ambitious newly-promoted Arabian Gulf League side on a one-year contract.

Yebda, who featured in his nation’s World Cup 2014 group stage draw against Russia, has been without a club since his contract expired at La Liga's Granada earlier this summer.

Fujairah CEO Sultan Al Shara revealed the presence of Les Fennecs national captain Madjid Bougherra at the eastern emirate outfit played an influential role in the coveted player’s impending capture.

He said: “We are on the verge of agreeing a deal with Yebda, which we hope to seal this weekend.

“He is a very big player, with an excellent background playing for clubs in England, Italy and Spain. We had to compete to sign him against Swansea and West Bromwich Albion, but the presence of Madjid Bougherra helped us to convince him to join us.”

France-born Yebda will add tremendous experience to Fujairah, having previously played for leading European sides such as Benfica, Napoli and Udinese as well as enjoying a loan spell at Portsmouth in the 2009-10 season while they were in the Premier League.

His arrival completes the club’s foreign player quota, which includes Bougherra, former Al Ain hot shot Boubacar Sanogo and Lebanon international striker Hassan Maatouk.

They had previously been engaged in a failed attempt to bring Chile playmaker Jorge Valdivia back to the UAE, which ended with Fujairah responding resolutely to threats from agent Wagner Ribeiro that he intended to report them to world governing body FIFA.

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Al Wasl cancel Oliveira contract to pave way for Palmeiras move

Jon Turner 14/08/2014
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One of the best: Oliveira's status as one of the finest imports to UAE football is secured.

Al Wasl have terminated the contract of striker Ricardo Oliveira one year early in order to allow the Brazilian to return to his homeland, the club has announced.

Oliveira joined The Cheetahs in January after four-and-a-half years at Al Jazira, although the 34-year-old struggled to make the same impact at the Zabeel Stadium.

Oliveira’s Al Wasl future had been the subject of speculation this summer, with Palmeiras reportedly interested in his services.

And the Arabian Gulf League club has now confirmed a mutual termination of his contract, which was not due to expire for a further 12 months.

“Al Wasl Football Club has terminated the contract of Brazilian striker Ricardo Oliveira by mutual consent between the two parties,” a statement read.

“Al Wasl received many offers for Oliveira and after discussions, the player welcomed the idea of returning to the Brazilian league.

“Everyone at Al Wasl wishes Oliveira well for the new season.”

Oliveira will be remembered as one of the finest imports UAE football has ever witnessed.

During his five years, Oliveira scored 58 league goals in 89 appearances, playing a vital role in Al Jazira’s 2011 league and President's Cup double. He also helped Jazira to retain the President's Cup the following season.

His finest indvidual season came in the 2012/13 campaign, scoring a remarkable 28 goals in 33 games as Jazira finished third in the league behind Al Ahli and champions Al Ain.

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Arabian Gulf League reveal kick-off times for 2014/15 season

Jon Turner 13/08/2014
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Kick-off time: Al Ahli (red) will start their season away at Sharjah.

Arabian Gulf League champions Al Ahli will begin their title defence with a tough trip to Sharjah on September 16 at 8.30pm after the kick-off times were released for the first half of the season. 

While the fixture list for the 2014/15 AGL season was announced in June, fans can now find out the exact time each match will take place to ensure they don't miss a game.

Kicking the season off on Monday September 15 will be newly-promoted Fujairah FC's home clash with Emirates Club at 5.30pm while Al Wasl host Al Dhafra at 5.35pm. The evening games – both starting at 8.30pm – sees Al Nasr travel to Bani Yas and Al Jazira head to Ajman.

Al Wahda and Ittihad Kalba will contest the early game (5.40pm) on September 16 before Al Ain's mouth-watering encounter with Al Shabab and Al Ahli's clash with Sharjah. 

For the full fixture list and kick-off times, click on this link.

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