The 20th Gulf Cup in Aden opens

22 Nov
The Yemeni Football Team in Aden before playing a friendly match against Uganda.

Malak ShaherPublished:22-11-2010

SANA’A, Nov. 21 — Lights and the flags of Yemen, Iraq and the Gulf countries are on the streets and crossroads in Aden and Abyan to welcome the participating teams in the 20th Gulf Cup.

President Saleh will open the 20th Gulf Cup today at the ‘22 May Stadium’ in Aden where the first match will be between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The second match will be between Qatar and Kuwaiti on Monday at 10 pm.

The matches will be played in Aden and Abyan which are ready to host the 20th Gulf cup as planned for. The cup is to start on Monday 22 Nov. continuing through to 5 Dec. 2010.

This is the first time since the Gulf Cup started in 1970 that it will be held in Yemen. In spite of rumors that Yemen is incapable of hosting the cup due to the unstable situation in the country’s south, the Yemeni government has been working hard to guarantee the maximum possible security precautions.

President Saleh has been checking the hotels and tourist complexes for four days before the opening. Saleh met with the Yemeni team and urged them to play hard and win the cup, as all Yemenis wished them to win.

“Our hearts are with you. We trust your enthusiasm, your love for your country and that you want to lift its name high,” Saleh said, according to the Al-Arabia website.

The Gulf teams started arriving in Yemen on Friday and started training on the same day  at the Al-Telal Club.

Along with the teams, around 12,000 cars have entered Yemen from the Gulf and more than 1,500 media representatives have come to cover the cup events, according to the Yemen Satellite channel.

The Yemeni ambassador to Saudi Arabia said that holding the 20th Gulf cup in Yemen would strengthen the ties between Yemen and the Gulf Council Countries and Iraq.

The head of the Referee Committee, Gamal Al-Ghandoor, told Saba news agency that the situation in Yemen is safe and secure in spite of what has been about Yemen in some media outlets. He also said that the Yemeni people are peace-loving and generous.

Yemen has been participating in the cup since the 16th tournament which was held in Kuwait in 2003. Since then it has participated in the 17th cup in Qatar, the 18th in UAE and the 19th in Oman.

Yemen’s team is joined by seven others including those from Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Gulf Cup was founded by Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico. The first Cup was held in Bahrain in 1970 and was won by Kuwait


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