UAE soccer association to sign agreement with Israel

UAE’s soccer association announces it will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Israeli soccer association on Monday in Dubai.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Soccer (illustration)
Soccer (illustration)

The UAE’s soccer association said on Saturday it would sign a memorandum of understanding with the Israeli soccer association on Monday in Dubai, in the presence of FIFA president Gianni Infantino, AFP reports.

The "cooperation agreement" with the Israeli association includes "the establishment of friendly matches for all national teams and clubs" and "joint workshops for the technical and administrative members of the federations", the United Arab Emirates' soccer association said in a statement.

The agreement "comes in activation of the peace treaty that was signed between the United Arab Emirates and Israel", General Secretary of UAE FA Mohammed Abdullah Hazzam al-Dhaheri was cited as saying in the statement.

"It is unique in the Middle East and carries a message of peace from the 'land of peace', and we are confident that its outcome will be very positive and will serve both sides," he added.

The presence of FIFA president Infantino to witness the signing "confirms FIFA's encouragement for such initiatives that serve football", the statement said, adding that the sport helps facilitate "rapprochement and the convergence of cultures".

The announcement follows Israel’s agreement in September establishing ties with the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE and Bahrain have signed several deals with Israel since the September agreement, ranging from tourism to aviation and financial services.

In October, the Maccabi Haifa soccer team announced a cooperation agreement with the United Arab Emirates' Al-Ain FC, the most decorated team in UAE history.

This past week, a member of Abu Dhabi's royal family bought half of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team.