UAE FA hope for incident free trips to Iran for Al Ain and Al Nasr

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Al Dhaheri hopes to secure fans' safety.

The two clubs are involved in midweek round-of-16 deciders in the AFC Champions League. The Blue Wave hold a commanding 4-1 first-leg lead over Tuesday’s opponents Tractor Sazi, while the Boss have it all to prove at Zob Ahan the following night after a 1-1 draw at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.

The high-pressure nature of the matches and continuing discord between the nations has led to fears about safety, which Al Dhaheri attempted to assuage.

“The UAE FA is keen to support and provide all conditions required to help Al Nasr and Al Ain,” said Al Dhaheri. “The safety of the two clubs in Iran is a priority, in addition to securing coordination and communication with the clubs and their Iranian opponents.

“Protection needs to be provided from the moment of their arrival through to their departure. The UAE FA holds a commitment to take all measures to ensure the provision of security.”

Security observers from the Asian Football Confederation and members of the governing body’s competition committee will be with the UAE clubs throughout the trip, with both flying across the Strait of Hormuz on Monday.

Nasr are guaranteed a fearsome reception at the 70-000-capacity Yadegar-e Emam Stadium in Tabriz, in the country’s north west. Al Ain, based in central Isfahan, play in the confined 15-000-capacity Foolad Shahr Stadium.

The Blue Wave suffered an incident free 2-0 loss against Sepahan in their opening Group A fixture and Al Dhaheri hopes for more of the same.

“We have addressed the AFC to provide all conditions to fight for victory for the return leg and take every security measure along the lines of the first match played in Sepahan last February, in which no complaints were made about safety and security before, during and after the match,” he added.

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