UAE FA chief keeps supporting Mahdi Ali despite fans’ protest

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Japan v UAE: Quarter Final - 2015 Asian Cup

A knee-jerk decision to sack coach in the aftermath of last week’s 2018 World Cup qualifying-loss to Saudi Arabia has been “completely ruled out”, according to indignant UAE Football Assocation president Yousif Al Serkal.

The Whites currently sit five points off the Group A-pace in second following a sloppy 2-1 defeat in Jeddah, conceding late goals at the end of both halves to deadly striker Mohammad Al Sahlawi. Only top spot guarantees progression to the AFC’s third round.

The manner of defeat to the leaders after a preceding goalless draw in Palestine has led to supporter disquiet. But for Al Serkal, there is no question about the future of the man who led his nation to a fine third during January’s Asian Cup.

“The issue of rushing to dismiss the technical staff is completely ruled out,” he told the UAE FA website yesterday.

“We have not lost hope, and what is needed now is to restore confidence in them. It is also a certainty that Mahdi will not resign.”

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