The citizen player is in danger

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The future of the Emirati player is in danger, following the announcement of the amendment to the ADNOC Professional League regulations, which allows an increase in the number of foreign players. In the coming years, the number of national players on club lists will decrease, and the chances of realizing the dream of thousands of children to become professional players will become a fantasy.

The participants in the “Sports Statement” survey rejected the recommendations for the development of the ADNOC Professional League, which reduced the number of registered players from 36 to 25 players, the number of clubs participating in the competition from 14 to 12 clubs, and increasing the number of foreigners from 4 to 5 players, provided that one of them is an Asian player, in addition to 3 resident players born in the country, while the participation of a maximum of 6 foreign players and other categories on the field at the same time, so as not to affect the chances of the civilian player.

The percentage of those who rejected the recommendations issued by the “Development of the UAE League” forum, held last week by the Professional Football League in Dubai, has 53% of the total participants in the “Sports Statement”- survey achieved, compared to 47% who supported the recommendations, after 40% supported the recommendations. And 60% of the participants rejected it by voting on the “Al-Bayan” website, and 46% rejected it, and 54% of the participants in the vote by the “Sports Statement” account on Twitter support.

Reservation denied

For his part, Antar Marzouk, deputy technical supervisor of the football academy at Shabab Al-Ahly club, expressed his reservations and rejection of the recommendations of the “Development of the UAE League” forum due to the great damage it would cause for the future contain of Emirati football and national players, and he explained: “At first we cannot bring a company or with people from outside the country to give us a study about our league, the study must be from institutions or people be within the country, and they can be experts, or even foreign coaches who reside, or have previously worked in the country, and have great knowledge of the reality of Emirati football.

He explained: “Most of those who speak in these forums talk about European experiences, and put us in comparisons with countries that have a different nature than the Emirates, and we, for example, in football, cannot compare ourselves with Saudi -Arabia does not compare, despite the common geographical nature, because the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has about 156 clubs, and therefore their national players have many opportunities to play, while in the Emirates, I think we have 29 clubs , and therefore, reducing the lists of teams with the increase in the number of foreign players, will cause in the long term, the disappearance of national talents, clubs focus on foreign players in positions specifically».

Change of names

Antar Marzouk added: “There are other ways to increase the number of foreign players for clubs participating in the Asian Championships, including registering the resident player, but increasing the number of foreigners while retaining the resident player will cause a big problem. for Emirati football, because if participation inside the stadium is limited to 6 players.” Foreigners and residents, which means the rest of the team will be 5 national players, including a goalkeeper. The number of players remains only 4 nationals, and most of them will undoubtedly be defenders, as clubs depend on their contracts from outside the country to bring in attackers, playmakers and focal points.

And he continued, saying: “The problem when we try to develop Emirates football is that we change the names, and we focus on reforming the summit, not the base. Because the young player does not learn professionalism , and his association with the academy is only daily training for an hour or more, after which he goes home, and no one knows what he ate or when he slept, or even the extent of his educational attainments. We also have the reserve league canceled and returned, and it given new names Until now, since the application of professionalism, what is the benefit of it?

Concluding his opinion on the forum’s recommendations, Antar Marzouk said: “From my point of view, increasing the number of foreign players and residents contracted from outside the country destroys the future of the citizen player, especially if the teams’ rosters are reduced. up to 25 players, and if the association and club officials have The desire to increase the number of foreigners, the list should therefore not be reduced, because there will be a large number of players more than the needs of the country’s clubs, and that will the national teams, who currently suffer from a lack of talent in specific positions, be negatively affected due to the type of foreign players that the clubs contract with, According to their own interest, and not according to a comprehensive plan that is in the interest . of Emirati football in general.

players chance

For his part, Rakan Jassim Al-Ajmi, the former Al-Jazira player, determined to increase the number of foreign players, not to reduce the lists, and emphasized his complete rejection of the recommendation to reduce the number of professional league clubs , because it kills the ambition of the first-class club players, and creates long time gaps, without official matches, which force the parties. The authority is responsible for organizing semi-official matches, in order to meet the requirements of the AFC, with the number of official matches necessary to approve professional leagues.

Rakan said: “Reducing the clubs negatively affects the end of the league early, therefore there will not be matches of gradual strength enough to equip international players through the league competition which is supposed to be the strongest, and it also switches off the ambition of many clubs in the first division, who are looking to qualify for the professional league.” Because the motivation will be less, while it reduces her chances to reach the limelight, especially since there are good players, and they don’t get their chance, and they wait for the opportunity to reach the professionals, to show their worth proof.

Shrink list

Regarding the reduction of the number of players registered in the squad lists to 25 players, Rakan said: “It will be excellent, creating a kind of enthusiasm and competition between the players, while giving priority to the most ready to remain and participate, but on the condition that the number of foreign players is not increased, and the wording of current contracts with Resident players, who have become professionals with a new name, but if the Professional League deems it necessary to increase the number of foreign players and increase resident players, then the number of those registered in the club lists must be kept at 36 players.

The former Al-Jazira player explained: “It’s difficult at the moment to reduce the club lists from 25 players, with the increase in the number of foreign players, and everyone knows that the clubs are looking for attackers, playmakers and center players from outside the country, so these centers have become a real problem in football.” In addition, the reduction of lists could cause many problems for clubs in the future, with the large number of infections, and the impact of measures to confront the Corona virus on the readiness of some players and teams.

Rakan concluded by saying: “The problem is that we are dealing with quick fixes, which may lead to good results in the first two or three years, but in the long term it will have significant negative effects on the citizen player and Emirati football have. , at a time when we have more important problems, we have to deal with them.” Urgently, the most important of which is how to cultivate a culture of professionalism among the players of the Sunni stages, and oblige the clubs to a plan that achieves the general interest of Emirati football, and at the same time does not harm the clubs, who have the right to choose what benefits them, which is why they were supporters of those recommendations, despite being clear about how damaging it is to the future of the most popular game in the country.


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