AFC provides guidelines for new UAE pro league

The delegation of the Professional League Committee of the Asian Football Confederation has designated five critical points for the success of the United Arab Emeriate's new professional league to be launched in September 2008. "We discussed with the UAE FA officials and the professionalism committee several proposals. We specified them in five points," said Tukuaki Suzuki, deputy chairman of the AFC PLC told media in Dubai. Suzuki said the infrastructure in the UAE is tremendous and each club has its own stadium.

"This is important for implementing professionalism. Also, the UAE sports officials have vast experience in organising big events like the World Youth Cup in 2003. They have a professional bent of mind which can help in implementing professionalism and having a professional league in the UAE. During our stay, we visited many clubs. I can say UAE is better than Japan in many areas - like the stadiums and the emphasis on youth. Also the medical care is excellent. However, Japan is better in attracting crowds to the stadiums and the UAEPC must have new ideas to pull crowds to the stadiums."

The five points are:

1 The UAE FA PL must have a legal existence so that it can do its job according to legal fundamentals.

2 The clubs must have their system, which include rules and regulations for implementing professionalism in a proper way.

3 The number of spectators must be increased to fill the stadiums. This is very important for professional league. We saw small numbers of supporters attending the matches. There must be newer ways of bringing big crowds to the stadiums.

4 Marketing is also an important factor for implementing professionalism and its continuation. The AFC wants a central marketing system and the UAEPC will be responsible for the revenues and its distribution to the clubs.

5 There must be rules and regulations for the players' contracts with the clubs and the number of professional players. The signing of high-class foreign players is very important so that the local players' mentality can be changed. Good foreign players will be an excellent example.