Courtesy: The Gulf todayWe are serious about Futsal, says UAE coach Padu
by Wilfred PereiraMay 25, 2012
DUBAI: UAE face Turkmenistan in their opening match of the AFC Futsal Championship 2012 at the Al Wasl Club with a 6 pm kick-off.
All the 16 teams have arrived in Dubai and are geared up for the event. The coaches met the media in Dubai on Thursday and briefed about their preparations.
UAE coach Paulo Eduardo de Jesus (Padu) said this is a very good competition.
“We want to show people we are serious. After being together for 15 months we have achieved a good level,” said Padu.
“We have played against strong teams in friendlies and got good results. We want to do well in this big tournament with good results which is most important for us,” he added.
UAE have been placed in Group A along with Thailand, Krygyzstan and Turkmenistan.
Group B consists of Japan, Chinese Taipei, Tajikistan and Lebanon with Iran, Australia, Qatar and Korea Republic making up Group C. Uzbekistan, Indonesia. China and Kuwait complete the 16-team group in Group D.
Matches will be played at Al Wasl and Al Shabab club with eight matches taking place daily, starting around noon and ending at around 9 pm. The knock-out quarters will start on May 29 with the final and the hard-line final taking place on June 1.
“We expect a good tournament. To play good Futsal in this month we have played many important matches which has raised our level.
“Though ours is a difficult group, we respect our opponents but we want to do well in the tournament,” Padu added.
Four teams will qualify for the Futsal World Cup to be hosted by Thailand in November. Defending Asia champions Iran are the favourites but do not expect a cakewalk with the other teams gunning for them.
UAE captain Ahmed Mahmoud said Futsal was a new experience for them. “We are excited to play in this tournament as we would be making our debut. We want to get good results in this event and prove that UAE are doing well in Futsal,” Mahmoud told media.
“Everyone is eager to play. I think all our players are ready for this challenge and we will prove ourselves in our opening game tomorrow,” the UAE captain added.
Iran’ coach Ali Sanei said their first game against Korea was important. “Although our opener is important, we are going to be prepared for all matches since all of them are important. We are thinking of playing in the World Cup but at the same time we think about this championship and dream that we should repeat this victory and take the trophy back to Iran,” Sanei said.
Japan’s Miguel Rodrigo said they were in semi-finals two years ago.
“We respect our opponents but we promise to do our best.”
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari