Preparations for this tournament were somewhat easier than my last visit two years ago. The FIFA website allowed me to purchase tickets, saving me the problems I faced last time when I arrived unsure of how to obtain them, they even said they would deliver the tickets to my home address before the tournament started . If you have followed my travels you will know that collecting the tickets is never straightforward and, sure enough, a week before the Judi Onlain competition I received an email asking me to collect my tickets in Abu Dhabi.
I am due to arrive at lunch time on the day the competition starts with the first game kicking off at 8 p.m. Last time I would have been in danger of not being able to get in due to the fans arriving hours before the kick off. Surely this time with it being a FIFA event and the fact that I have officially paid for a ticket there will be no such problem. We’ll see.
The U.A.E. comes to a halt for two weeks whilst the championship takes place, however I have spotted that there are some Cup competitions taking place whilst I am there, and so I have been scouring the web to find out more.
Studying the websites of the clubs it was interesting to find that supporters were awarded free away trips with their clubs by entering poetry competitions.
Unfortunately the poems were in Arabic and so I was unable to translate them.
Mmm. So maybe they went like this.
Six foot two,
Eyes of azul,
Carlos Puyol’s after you
And I wanna be
- A. E.
(With thanks to FC United and The Sex Pistols)
Guess it’s a good job I bought my own tickets.
I also noticed fans being informed in advance of the strip there team would be wearing and that the away team would post a notice that so many tickets would be left for supporters free of charge at the away end. (Are you Wigan in reverse?)
Finally, found a game that is taking place whilst I am there Al Nasr will play Emirates in the Emirates Cup on Thursday 10th December. Excellent. I already knew that they were based in Dubai and had just lost 5-1 at home to Al Jazira, looking at photographs of the game I noticed the empty stands (…completely empty stands). My first thought was of Don Valley, where it could appear the same from a wide variety of angles. However I was surprised to find the following article
Ruthless Al Jazira Rout Al Nasr
Dubai – Five beautiful goals from Oliveira, Tony and Salem Masoud handed Al Nasr a humiliating 5-1 home defeat from ruthless Al Jazira at Al Wasl Stadium here on Saturday night.
Al Nasr have been forced by the football governing body to play two of their league games at neutral venues without fans following the unnecessary misconduct of their fans during their match against city rivals Al Ahli.
Guess I will wait until I arrive before setting out on any adventures.