With the football season in Europe already in full flow, the local football community in Dubai are dusting off their own football boots, in preparation for the return of the Dubai Amateur Football League (DAFL).
As well as the five divisions of the 11-a-side league, which attract Dubai residents of all ages and abilities, the DAFL is also supporting more social and casual football activity, in a bid to encourage more people to get involved.
League chairman Dean O’Grady, who has been involved in the league since 2005, explains: “The Dubai Amateur Football League has a great reputation, for both organisation and the quality of football that is played. As the years have passed, the standard of the various divisions has gotten higher, and this has made it difficult for players that lack current fitness or a sufficient level of skill from playing.”
O’Grady continued: “For the last 12 months there has been a focus on trying to build a pyramid that will encourage new players to get involved and at the same time help players to build fitness and confidence so that if a player wants to play at amateur league level, then it is possible. We now have casual games and small-sided tournaments six evenings a week, which provide a fun environment for players of different ages abilities and gender. For the new season we are extending into coaching sessions as well, for those players that are serious about increasing their fitness and skill. The ultimate message is, that the Dubai Amateur Football League is for everyone, no matter your age, gender or footballing ability.”
The DAFL plays at various indoor and grass outdoor pitches throughout Dubai, six days a week. If you are interested to joining you can contact the Dubai Amateur Football League, either by email [email protected], phone, +971502889774 or visit www.dubaifootball.com.
Liverpool and Chelsea will this week face off in the first ever all-English UEFA Super Cup.
Ahead of Wednesday’s match, PA takes a look at five of the main talking points ahead of the Besiktas Park clash.
Lampard to get first win – and Cup?
Maurizio Sarri was at the helm when the Blues comprehensively overcame Arsenal 4-1 to lift the Europa League in Baku. A lot has changed in the subsequent 11 weeks, with match-winner Eden Hazard leaving, a transfer ban being juggled and fan favourite Frank Lampard getting the manager’s job.
Chelsea’s all-time top scorer endured a nightmare start to life in charge, with his first match ending in a 4-0 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday. Lampard has a chance to make amends in Istanbul on Wednesday, when a first victory would bring the first trophy of his managerial career having twice fallen short in the Super Cup during his playing days.
More Istanbul memories for Liverpool?
It is 14 years since the Reds enjoyed one of the most memorable nights in their history, overturning a three-goal half-time deficit to draw 3-3 and beat AC Milan on penalties to lift the Champions League at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.
Liverpool will be hoping to return there for the 2019/2020 finale, but first comes another shot at silverware in Istanbul as Jurgen Klopp’s men line up at Besiktas Park in the Super Cup. Liverpool are bidding to lift the Super Cup for a fourth occasion – a great chance to lay down a marker to rivals at the start of the season.
Can Adrian handle the pressure?
Adrian’s six-year stint with West Ham came to an end in the summer, having made 150 first-team appearances in all competitions and twice been voted Hammer of the Year runner-up.
Liverpool picked up the free agent as back-up to Alisson Becker last week and now the 32-year-old finds himself preparing to line up in the UEFA Super Cup after a calf injury forced the Brazil goalkeeper off against Norwich. It is a big stage for a first start and it will be interesting to see how Adrian gets on.
Kante to win another European fitness race?
“We need to make a decision on him,” Lampard said in the bowels of Besiktas Park. “He has a small injury which we are concerned about and we will have to decide with him on that this evening.”
In May, not only did N’Golo Kante overcome injury concerns but he managed to play the full 90 minutes as Chelsea won the Europa League. The France international managed to come off the bench at Manchester United after a disrupted summer, only for Lampard to reveal he has sustained a new knock. Kante trained with the rest of his Chelsea team-mates on the eve of the game, but the manager has to decide whether to risk the midfielder.
Historic moment for women’s football
Stephanie Frappart will write her name in the history books on Wednesday as she becomes the first female referee to officiate a UEFA men’s competition event. Assisted by Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O’Neill from the Republic of Ireland, the decision has been welcomed by Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and players from both teams.
A momentous occasion, O’Neill hopes it can be an inspiration to young girls across the world.
At the 2019 #SuperCup in Istanbul, a female official will take charge of a major UEFA men's competition event for the first time ever.— UEFA (@UEFA) August 2, 2019
Huge congratulations to Stéphanie Frappart and her predominantly female team of officials on the appointment 👏https://t.co/KHrJiRAY7Q
Provided by Press Association Sports
Former Inter Milan and Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder has announced his retirement from football.
The 35-year-old made a record 134 appearances for the Netherlands and helped them reach the World Cup final in 2010.
The Dutchman also played for Ajax, Galatasaray, Real Madrid, Nice and Al Gharafa.
Sneijder has now bought a corporate box at his hometown club Utrecht to watch them.
“My love for the city of Utrecht is great,” he told the Eredivisie side’s official website.
“We often talked about the possibility of me coming here, and now we’ve put this thing on paper. I’m looking forward to a great season.”