Brazil legend Ronaldo attends Arab Club Champions cup final in Al-Ain

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Brazilian football superstar Ronaldo was a special guest at the final of the Arab Club Champions Cup, which was held at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al-Ain. (AN Photo/Basheer Alzain Saleh)
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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (C) and Saudi Arabia's GSA chairman Turki Al-Sheikh (R) at the match. (AN Photo/Basheer Alzain Saleh)
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Abu Dhabi's crown prince meeting with Saudi dignitaries before the game. (Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (C) and Saudi Arabia's GSA chairman Turki Al-Sheikh (R) at the match. (AN Photo/Basheer Alzain Saleh)
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Brazilian football superstar Ronaldo was a special guest at the final of the Arab Club Champions Cup, which was held at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al-Ain. (AN Photo/Basheer Alzain Saleh)
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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (C) and Saudi Arabia's GSA chairman Turki Al-Sheikh (R) at the match. (AN Photo/Basheer Alzain Saleh)
Updated 18 April 2019

Brazil legend Ronaldo attends Arab Club Champions cup final in Al-Ain

  • The match featured Saudi side Al-Hilal and Etoile Sahel from Tunisia
  • Former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid player photographed with Abu Dhabi crown prince

AL-AIN, UAE: Brazilian football superstar Ronaldo was a special guest at the final of the Arab Club Champions Cup, which was held at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al-Ain.
The former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid player was photographed with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Saudi Arabia’s Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Sports Authority.
The match — featuring Saudi side Al-Hilal and Etoile Sahel from Tunisia — was won 2-1 by the Tunisian team, whose Mohamed Methnani scored an injury time winner to take home the trophy for his side.

The tournament is organized by the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) and is contested by elite clubs from the Arab world, including 20 from the Asian Football Confederation and 20 from the Confederation of African Football.
Earlier this week, it was announced by Al-Sheikh that the 2020 edition of the tournament would be named after King Mohamed VI of Morocco.
“I am honored as the President of the Arab Football Federation (to announce) that the second edition of the Arab Champions Cup will bear a name dear to all Arabs, His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God protect him, who honored us with his approval,” Al-Sheikh posted on Tuesday on his official Facebook page.


What next for Premier League’s ‘Project Restart’

Updated 03 June 2020

What next for Premier League’s ‘Project Restart’

  • Restart to begin with 2 matches on June 17, to ensure every side played same number of games

LONDON: The Premier League's return is just two weeks away but there are plenty of details for the 20 clubs in the English top-flight to work out before competitive action resumes on June 17.

AFP Sport looks at what is on the agenda at the latest in a series of meetings between the clubs on Thursday.

There have been squabbles over how final league standings should be decided if the season cannot be completed but clubs need a contingency arrangement if a spike in coronavirus cases wrecks their plans.

Most of the teams in the bottom half of the table are reportedly pushing for relegation to be scrapped if the season is not completed on the field.

That still seems highly unlikely, with the English Football Association and English Football League both insisting on promotion and relegation throughout the pyramid.

A points-per-game formula is the most likely option and is part of the reason why the restart will begin with two matches on June 17, to ensure every side has played the same number of games.

Once the two outstanding games — Manchester City vs. Arsenal and Aston Villa vs. Sheffield United — have been played, all 20 sides will have nine games remaining.

No dates for other matches have yet been released, but fixtures are expected to continue from where they left off in March and be crammed into just five weeks ahead of the FA Cup final on August 1.

A long layoff, little time together in contact training and a gruelling schedule mean players' bodies will be pushed to the limits.

In an attempt to minimize injuries and fatigue, world governing body FIFA has allowed leagues to temporarily change their rules to allow five substitutes.

Chelsea have also reportedly proposed increasing the number of substitutes available from seven to nine.

However, critics have suggested those changes will simply play into the hands of the bigger clubs with deeper squads.

Premier League clubs appear to have won their battle to have games played in their own grounds rather than on neutral sites.

However, the UK's national lead for football policing confirmed last week that a "small number" of fixtures will take place at neutral venues.

That is likely to include any match that could see Liverpool crowned champions for the first time in 30 years, to try and avoid crowds gathering at Anfield.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is unconcerned by playing at neutral venues, with results from four rounds of Germany's Bundesliga showing no advantage for home sides in a closed-doors environment.

"We will not have the help from the crowd but no team will have that, so where is the advantage?" Klopp told the BBC.

"Whoever we play it is the same situation, which is why I'm not too worried about it."

The use of VAR could also be dispensed with for the rest of the season should the clubs wish to further cut the number of people required for games to go ahead.

However, the Premier League's CEO Richard Masters is keen for it to remain.

"VAR has its own social-distancing issues, but we think there is a way of completing the season with VAR," Masters told Sky Sports.