Countdown begins: Yemen, Iraq get down to training
November 22 2019 11:38 PM
Yemen players
Yemen players take part in a training session at the Qatar University Stadium ahead of the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup yesterday. PICTURES: Shemeer Rasheed

By Sports Reporter/Doha

Yemen and Iraq squad, the first ones to arrive for the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup, held a training session yesterday. The prestigious tournament will be held in
Doha from November 26 to December 8.
While hosts Qatar are already training under coach Felix Sanchez at the Aspire Academy, the rest of the participating teams will start arriving from today. Oman players are expected to land in Doha today, while Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will arrive tomorrow.
Qatar are in Group A with UAE, Yemen and Iraq while Group B is made up of defending champions Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain. The top two sides will qualify to the semi-finals.
The tournament will kick-off on Tuesday with Qatar taking on Iraq at the Khalifa International Stadium, while Yemen meet UAE at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium. 
Meanwhile, a welcome reception was held for Yemen and Iraq squad, where officials explained the administrative, organisational and medical aspects related to the tournament.
Yemen arrived in Doha from Bahrain, where they played in an Asian Qualifiers group D tie against Singapore, suffering a 2-1 defeat. Adding to their woes is the absence of two key players.
Striker Mohsen Qarawi and defender Ammar Homsan were ruled out of the Gulf Cup even before the team had their first training session at the Qatar University stadium.
Qarawi, who plies his trade at Oman club Al Nahda has been out of action for some time, so is Homsan, who has missed the entire Asian qualifiers. In their absence, Yemen coach Sami Hasan al-Nash has included Ahmed al-Haifi, after his recent exploits for Al Nahda of Oman.
UAE coach names probable squad
UAE’s Dutch coach Berr Van Marwijk has named a 28-member squad for the Gulf Cup. The squad will be trimmed to 24 after the final training session at the home base today, before the squad flies to Doha for the tournament.
The UAE have won the Gulf Cup twice before, first in 2007 when they defeated Oman 1-0 in the final on home soil. Ismail Mattar, the tournament’s top scorer, notched the winner in Abu Dhabi.
They clinched the trophy again six years later in Bahrain, triumphing in extra-time against Iraq in the showpiece.

UAE squad: Ali Khusaif, Salim Rashid, Khalifa al-Hammadi, Khalfan Mubarak, Ali Mabkhout, Omar AbdelRahman, Mohamed al-Attas, Abdullah Ramadan, Zayed al-Ameri, Waleed Hassan, Mohamed Marzouq, Yusuf Jabir, Ismail al-Hammadi, Ahmed Khalil, Khalid Essa, Ahmed Barman, Bandar al-Ahbabi,  Hamdan al-Kamali, Mohamed Barghash, Khalil al-Hammadi, Mohamed Hassan al-Shamsi, Adel al-Hosani, Al Hassan Salih, Majid Suror, Shahin AbdulRahman,  Jasim Yaqoub, Tariq Ahmed, Ali Salih.

Souza announces Bahrain squad
Bahrain coach Helio Souza has announced a 23-man squad, with Abdulla Yusuf Helal, who plays for Czech club Slavia Prague being the notable exclusion.

Bahrain squad: Sayed Mohamed Jafar, Walid Alhayam, Ismail Abdullatif, Mohamed Yusuf Hardan, Thiago Vizandandez, Al-Shibr Hashim, Sayed Reda Issa, Ali Abdullah Haram,  Mehdi Baqer, Mohamed Jassim Marhoon, Kamil al-Aswad, Ali Jafar Moden, Ahmed Nabil Ghilan, Abdullah Al Hazaa, Mohammed al-Rumaihi, Ahmed Mubarak Bogmar, Rashed al-Houti, Mohamed Abdulwahab Shaaban, Abdulwahab al-Maloud, Hamad al-Dossari, Jassim al-Sheikh, Mehdi Humaidan, Sayyid Zia Saeed

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