Photograph credit: Sport360

Latest approved law will increase sports participation in UAE

Official sports competitions in the country will no longer be restricted to citizens after the new law approved by UAE Cabinet will allow residents to take part.

Residents can participate in sports competitions

From September onward, expatriate men married to Emirati women, children born in the country and sportsmen residing the country will be allowed to play and represent UAE in all the sports, helping increase sports engagement and overall sports participation.

Some sports have a limit of expat intake

Clubs dealing with Football, Basketball, Hockey and handball can admit as many residents but can register only three players for the youth or first team level. Whereas, individual sports and sports for people of determination has no limit for registering residents, including sports like hockey and rugby.

UAE’s last participation in FIFA World Cup was in 1990

Brazil’s Mario Zagallo helped UAE qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy but had resigned from the head coach post before the tournament. The national team played against West Germany, Yugoslavia and Colombia and former UAE footballer Khalid Ismail was the first to score a goal for UAE in the tournament, against West Germany.

UAE’s cricket team has risen over the years

Cricket has been the only sport which allowed expatriates to represent the country. The 1996 Cricket World Cup was the first major cricket tournament where UAE participated although they didn’t win any matches. After 19 years, UAE qualified for the 2015 World Cup and although they were last in the tournament, the team was praised for its close encounters against teams like Ireland and Zimbabwe. UAE also qualified for the Asia Cup in 2016.