By Gavin Davids
Players hope to secure spot in 2012 Olympics to be held in London
The UAE’s Olympic football team is to receive an AED10m ($2.72m) grant from UAE President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan following its medal win at the Asian Games held last month.
The grant, which follows a silver medal win at the 16th Asian Games, comes “in recognition of their achievements in the international sports arena,” state news agency WAM reported.
The country’s junior Olympic team is also to receive an AED4m ($1.08m) grant for winning the seventh Gulf Championship held in Kuwait earlier this year.
The UAE football team made its first appearance in an Asian Games final in November after beating South Korea in the semi-final match. UAE centre forward Ahmed Al Abry netted a dramatic winner in the last minute of the game.
UAE team coach Mahdi Redha told media that the team now hopes to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, to be held in London.
“I said our goals this Asian Games were to prepare for the Olympic qualifiers and try our best for a medal. I’m delighted with our team’s performance,” he said.