UAE football league appeals to Egyptian players

22/11/2012 - Dubai Lifestyle News Posted by Neil King
UAE football league appeals to Egyptian players

The Middle East has been building a strong reputation in the football world in recent years.Qatar launched a successful bid to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup and the UAE's national team has also been growing in stature.Indeed, the Under-23 team received a lot of plaudits for their performances in the 2012 Olympic Games in England and the future looks bright for the beautiful game in the Gulf.The UAE's domestic league is also steadily increasing in popularity, helped by the addition of some star names like Diego Maradona, who managed Dubai-based Al-Wasl until recently.One player who will be familiar to many football fans is Mohamad Zidan.The Egyptian international now plays for Bani Yas, but he made a name for himself in the German Budesliga playing for the likes of Werder Bremen, Mainz, Hamburg and current champions Borussia Dortmund.Speaking to Emirati news provider Al-Bayan, the 30-year-old said he is "so happy" to be playing in the UAE.He also insisted that a number of top Egyptian players have asked him about the possibility of playing in the country.The Egyptian league is still blighted by fan violence and the league has been suspended since 70 supporters were killed during riots in a match in Port Said."Several players asked me about the UAE league and expressed their desire to play here," the forward was quoted as saying."I advised them to come here if they got any offers."The Egyptian unrest is very much based on wider societal problems and the country has been very volatile for the last few years.This, in some ways, has worked in the UAE's favour, as investors - and in this case sports stars - look upon the country very favourably because of its stable government and vast opportunities.Of course, the beautiful beaches and gorgeous weather in Dubai are a major lure for footballers and the relaxed lifestyle they can lead in the UAE, not to mention the big wages paid by the clubs, makes it an attractive place to play the game.