UAE soccer team to play two friendlies with Maccabi Haifa

UAE-based Al-Ain soccer team will play Maccabi Haifa in two friendlies after the two signed a cooperation agreement.

Elad Benari ,

Soccer (illustration)
Soccer (illustration)

The UAE-based Al-Ain soccer team will play Israel's Maccabi Haifa in two friendlies, the UAE said on Wednesday, according to AFP.

The announcement came during the virtual signing of a deal between the two clubs and follows the United Arab Emirates' move to normalize relations with Israel this past August.

"(The agreement) will consolidate the policy of bridge-building and cooperation between the two major clubs in various fields including marketing, technical cooperation, investment, commercial activities, media and sport," Mohamed Thaaloob, chairman of the Al-Ain club investment company, was quoted as having said.

The clubs also agreed to play two friendlies, the first to be hosted by Al-Ain and the second to be held in Haifa at an unspecified future date, he added.

Maccabi Haifa announced a cooperation agreement with Al-Ain FC, the most decorated team in UAE history, this past October.

In December, the UAE’s soccer association signed a memorandum of understanding with the Israeli soccer association.

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.