Film to tell story of UAE football team at 1990 World Cup

Image Nation Abu Dhabi to make documentary about UAE's historic qualification for tournament in Italy

The story of the UAE’s historic qualification for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy will be told in a new documentary film from UAE production house, Image Nation Abu Dhabi.

Shooting is about to begin and will feature everyone who took the country to glory, from the players and coaches to the fans and journalists who followed the team on the road to Italia 90.

Image Nation also called on the public to become involved by telling their own stories and sharing their memories, which will form an important part of the documentary.

“A huge factor in deciding to make this documentary is our ability to tell properly of the most important events in UAE Sports history,” said Mohammed Al Mubarak, chairman of Image Nation.

“This is completely different from any other project we have produced. We have assembled a world-class team to bring the story to life and can’t wait to start hearing anecdotes from the public so they too can be involved in the filming process.

“This is not only about producing a really entertaining film, but will also serve as a historical document that finally details the legacy of what those players achieved for both UAE and Middle East football.”

The UAE reached the 1990 World Cup by winning a dramatic Asia qualifying competition in Singapore held in October 1989.

Given little chance against teams from nations such as China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, North Korea and Qatar, the team of players from across the Emirates qualified and have since gone down in folklore as the “golden generation”.

The film, which will combine archive footage, interviews and new on-location shots, is being led by creative Producer Stevan Riley and UAE-based director Nizar Sfair.

Riley, acclaimed for films such as the award-winning Fire in Babylon, and Sfair, who has won widespread praise in the region for his short films, are working closely together on developing the story of the UAE’s path to Italia 90.

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