ABU DHABI, The UAE will start the Year of Tolerance by hosting the AFC Asian Cup, UAE 2019.
The cup, which is being hosted by the UAE for the first time, will begin on 5th January and end on 1st February, with the participation of 24 Asian national teams.
The cup will begin on Saturday, with a match between the UAE and Bahrain at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Around 300,000,000 viewers from around the world and thousands of spectators in the stadium will witness the opening ceremony of the championship.
In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Marwan bin Ghalaita, Chairman of the Football Association, said, “The UAE hosts all nationalities and over 200 nationalities live on its land, and we will work during the continental championship to spread the message of tolerance to everyone during the Year of Tolerance.”
He affirmed that everyone is keen to contribute to the success of the cup, especially by ensuring considerable audience attendance, watching matches, and supporting the national team.
Aref Hamad Al Awani, Director of the Cup and Director of the Executive Office, said that the largest championship in the history of the cup will witness, for the first time, the presence of 24 Asian national teams.
He added that the launching ceremony will express the UAE’s messages for the Year of Tolerance while highlighting the country’s complete readiness to host the event.
Under the theme, “Bringing Asia Together,” the UAE aims, through the cup, to establish the values of tolerance and peace between the peoples of Asia and affirm that football unifies humanity. The cup’s games will be held in eight stadiums in four cities.
WAM today met with the fans of several teams, who expressed their happiness at visiting the UAE, the country of tolerance and coexistence.
The cup’s Supreme Local Organising Committee successfully completed the preparations of facilities and stadiums, including by renovating the Al Nahyan Stadium, the Al Maktoum Stadium, and the Sharjah Stadium.
The preparations for the championship were completed in record time, during which the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai was demolished and rebuilt completely while the Al Nahyan Stadium was updated.
Source: Emirates News Agency