EXCLUSIVE: Barack Obama supports Dubai's Al Wasl FC

US President wishes team 'every success' after campaign by club's number one fan.
SHIRT DEAL: Barack Obama has become Al Wasls most famous fan.
By Sayed Elazony and Andy Sambidge
Tue 20 Oct 2009 05:03 PM

US President Barack Obama has pledged allegiance to Dubai-based football club Al Wasl, Arabian Business can reveal.

The surprise move follows a campaign by arguably the club's number one fan Salem Al-Karbi who runs a website in honour of the team.

Al-Karbi sent a gift of an Al Wasl football shirt to the US President back in January and now he has received official word back from Obama saying he wished the club "success in all competitions".

The shirt had Obama's name and the number 44 (for the 44th President of the US) on the chest.

The reply came via the US Embassy in the UAE and Al-Karbi said the letter expressed Obama's "thanks and appreciation" for the gift of the shirt, adding the the President wished the club "continued success".

Al-Karbi admitted that after nine months, it had come as a surprise to get a reply but that he was delighted to have the US President give his support to the club.

He added that he next hoped to sign up Queen Elizabeth, head of the UK royal family.

Al Wasl is the most famous football club in Dubai and has won the UAE league title seven times, as well as the UAE President Cup twice.

Founded in 1974, Al Wasl is the only UAE team to have participated in all the UAE Premier Division seasons while Fahad Khamees holds the record for the most goals scored in UAE football with a tally of 165 goals.

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