Fifa happy with progress of UAE stadia

Fifa officials are happy that the UAE will be ready to stage an international football tournament in October 2013.The sport's governing body has visited the six venues that are set to be used in the Fifa Under-17 World Cup UAE 2013 and they confirmed the six-day inspection went well.Games will be held in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah and Sharjah between October 17th and November 8th.Fifa also ran the rule over 30 different training venues across the Arab country to check they are up to scratch."The objective of these inspections is to assess how well the venues are making headway with their facilities in preparation to host the tournament in October," a representative of the organisation remarked."There has definitely been progress since our last visit to the UAE, but there is still work to be done before the venues are 100 per cent ready."Director of the tournament Mohammed Abdulla bin Bdoua was quoted by Emirates 24/7 as saying this international competition will be the largest football event ever to take place in the UAE.The youth tournament was first introduced in 1985 and it is held every two years.UAE officials will be desperate to put on a good show and a successful competition could lead to bigger and better things in the future.The Middle East is not traditionally renowned for being a footballing hotbed, but there is no doubt that the game is growing in stature in this part of the world.Qatar will stage the 2022 Fifa World Cup and the UAE's Pro League is becoming more popular, with top players like Ghana's Asamoah Gyan and former Barcelona, Porto, Inter, Chelsea and Besiktas winger Ricardo Quaresma both currently plying their trade in Dubai.There is no question that Dubai's facilities are top notch too, as a number of professional clubs - including Swansea City, Sunderland, Queens Park Rangers, Borussia Monchengladbach and Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala - have held training camps in the city so far this season.

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