Mohammed Al-Saiari calls on fans to back Green Falcons in quest for Asian Cup glory

Green Falcons striker Mohammed Al-Saiari has called on the Saudi fans to get behind their team as they bid to win a fourth Asian Cup title and their first since 1996. (AFP)
Updated 03 January 2019
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Mohammed Al-Saiari calls on fans to back Green Falcons in quest for Asian Cup glory

  • audi Arabia’s national team are in Abu Dhabi to continue their preparations for the 2019 Asian Cup
  • Green Falcons striker Mohammed Al-Saiari has called on the Saudi fans to get behind their team

ABU DHABI: Saudi Arabia’s national team are in Abu Dhabi to continue their preparations for the 2019 Asian Cup which kicks off on Jan. 5, where they will be facing Asian giants South Korea in their final international friendly of the year on Monday at Bani Yas Stadium.
And Green Falcons striker Mohammed Al-Saiari has called on the Saudi fans to get behind their team as they bid to win a fourth Asian Cup title and their first since 1996.
"The Saudi public does not need to be told to support the players, we know we have their backing now and will do during the tournament," Al-Saiari said, speaking to the Saudi Football Federation website.
"I am very happy to represent the national team, I will hold on to this opportunity, especially when it comes at an Asian Cup, and not just for friendly matches.
"Such competitions give players the opportunity to show off their skills, and I hope we will have a good tournament as players and as a team.”
Al-Saiari praised the strength of the Kingdom’s domestic league this season, saying: “The emergence of a good level in the local championship gives us the motivation for further development during the coming period with the national team.”
He also pointed out that the South Korea friendly match will be the best preparation for the tournament.
“We are in the tournament to go there and compete for the title, and I hope we have the support of everyone," he added.


Michel Platini released from custody after police probe into Qatar World Cup 2022 corruption

Updated 19 June 2019
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Michel Platini released from custody after police probe into Qatar World Cup 2022 corruption

  • French authorities haven’t announced any charges against Platini
  • The authorities also questioned a sport adviser from the previous French president’s administration

PARIS: Former UEFA president Michel Platini was released from custody in the early hours of Wednesday after being questioned as part of a corruption investigation into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

His communication team said that Platini’s detention ended at 12:30 a.m. local time.

Platini had denied any wrongdoing and French authorities did not announce any charges against the former France and Juventus player.

“It was long, but given the number of questions it could not be different,” Platini said after his release. “They asked me questions about the 2016 Euro, the World Cup in Russia, the World Cup in Qatar, the Paris Saint-Germain, FIFA.”

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TIMELINE: The trail of corruption allegations surrounding the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Former UEFA head Platini detained in Qatar World Cup probe

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Also questioned Tuesday were Sophie Dion, a sports adviser in former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s administration, and Claude Gueant, the former secretary general of the Elysee presidential palace under Sarkozy.

Ahead of the FIFA vote, Sarkozy hosted a meeting in November 2010 that brought Platini together with Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, then the crown prince of Qatar and now its ruling emir. Al-Thani also owns the French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain, and Sarkozy frequently attends its games.

Qatar beat the long-favored United States 14 to 8 when FIFA selected the host country for the 2022 World Cup

As head of European soccer’s governing body UEFA, Platini was the continent’s top representative on the FIFA committee that picked Qatar.

French prosecutors are known to be investigating an array of winning bids for major sports events, including the 2018 World Cup, awarded to Russia, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and track and field world championships.

They are looking into possible offences including private corruption, conspiracy and influence peddling.

The decision in December 2010 to award the World Cup to Qatar surprised many given the lack of potential local audiences for the games, the extremely hot summer weather, and the poor performance of the country's national squad. It will be the first Arab state to host the competition.

Platini is one of France's most famous sportsmen and soccer stars. He led France to victory in the 1984 European Championship and played in two World Cup semi-finals.

(With Agencies)