UAE FA delighted to strengthen ties with Chinese football

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UAE FA president Marwan bin Ghaltia (c) with the delegation.

Chinese Football Association first vice-president Zhang Jian headed to Al Khawaneej on Monday.

He was greeted there by UAE FA president Marwan bin Ghalita, who was pleased to discuss the possibility of greater cooperation between the governing bodies.

“I am delighted with the visit and can only praise the excellent relations between the two unions,” said the UAE FA chief.

“There are many links between us on a continental and global level.”

The visit of the Chinese representatives was the first since Bin Ghalita beat incumbent Yousuf Al Serkal during April 30’s election.

China and the UAE have been drawn into different groups for the third-and-final round of World Cup 2018 qualifiers, which kick-off next month.

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UAE FA issue World Cup 2018 rallying cry

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#Together_We_Can is launched to boost UAE team (UAE FA).

UAE Football Association president Marwan bin Ghalita has declared fans across the country are “duty-bound” to provide their support in the push for World Cup 2018 qualification.

The Whites are currently preparing for a daunting start when the third and final round in the AFC process kicks off with a trip to heavyweights Japan on September 1 and visit of 2015 Asian Cup winners Australia on September 6.

In a bid to coalesce behind coach Mahdi Ali’s men, the governing body has launched the #Together_We_Can hashtag to be used by followers on social media. For leader Bin Ghalita, this will provide a boost as the nation attempts to reach the tournament for just the second time.

He said: “I am confident that the UAE squad realise the importance of this stage. Everyone in the nation is duty-bound to to supports these heroes on their mission.

“To assist them, the hashtag #Together_We_Can has been created. This is more than an initiative or invitation, as it will let our institutions stand with the team.”

A top-two finish when the campaign winds up in September 2017 will guarantee progression to Russia. If they end up third in Group B, they will meet the same side from Group A in a battle to reach the inter-confederation play-off.

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Ali demands Emiratis get behind WC quest

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All together now: UAE coach Mahdi Ali (second left) in buoyant mood with his squad during the recent trip to Spain.

UAE boss Mahdi Ali has insisted a united front is required to see the ‘Golden Generation’ fulfil their destiny and reach World Cup 2018.

The Whites’ 25-man squad recommenced training in Dubai on Friday as they gear up for next month’s daunting start of the third-and-final qualification round for Russia. This followed Wednesday’s ending of a month-long training camp in Spain, the length of which had led to discussions with some Arabian Gulf League clubs about player availability.

“The next phase requires everyone coming together in order to achieve the dream to be in Russia during 2018,” the 51-year-old told the UAE Football Association’s website. “Everyone must stand behind the team and support them in all their games.

“This team has made a lot of dreams come true and our dream of qualifying for the World Cup is our biggest dream – we will fight to achieve it. Our team believes in our own set of distinct elements that we believe gives us the capabilities to be able to overcome all difficulties.”

Ali’s men travel to Shanghai, China on August 19 for another preparatory period. They will play a friendly against North Korea on August 24, prior to the taxing competitive double header at World Cup-regulars Japan on September 1 and at home to 2015 Asian Cup holders Australia on September 6. The UAE are also joined by Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Syria in Group B.

For Al Ain superstar Omar Abdulrahman, lethal Al Jazira hot shot Ali Makbhout and their team-mates to automatically reach the globe’s premier football event, they will need to end up in the top-two.

If they make third, they will meet the same finishers from Group A in a showdown to reach the inter-confederation play-off against the CONCACAF entrants.

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