DUBAI – Dubai Ruler Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has ordered a immediate merger of the emirate’s two football clubs.
The Ruler of Sharjah, Dr. Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, issued the same directive for the emirate’s two teams.
In a decree issued by Shaikh Mohammad, the Al Shabab, Al Ahli and Dubai Club would become one entity called Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club. “We seek to build a strong football team that can compete continentally and globally,” said Shaikh Mohammad, who is also the UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister.
The new club’s headquarters will be at the Dubai Club in Al Awir.
Shaikh Mohammad appointed Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, as chairman of the Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club.
Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, is first vice chairman while Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, president of the UAE National Olympic Committee, is second vice chairman.
A committee headed by Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman will supervise the merger.
An investment company chaired by Hesham Abdullah Al Qasim will be formed to manage and combine the assets of the three clubs.
Shaikh Mohammad’s resolution, which takes effect immediately, states that “all material, moral and ethical rights as well as investments, and the annual financial allocations from Dubai Government for the three clubs, will be transferred to the Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club.”
Meanwhile, Sharjah’s Shaikh Sultan has ordered the merger of Al Shaab Club and Al Sharjah Club into the Sharjah Cultural Club.
The UAE Football Association (UAEFA) will discuss the implications of the mergers on the 14-team Arabian Gulf League, which would become a 12-team league next season. UAEFA president Marwan Bin Ghalita welcomed the mergers though as it would benefit UAE football. GAC/Expat Media
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