Haitham Al-Ainy:  “We are doing all we can to Financially and Morally Support Sports and Youth” [Archives:1999/14/Sports]

April 5 1999

Ahli of Sanaa is one of Yemen’s most prominent teams. Ahli Sanaa was established before the revolution in 1962, and it has remained an active club through all that time. It is still growing today. Many talented players and young Yemeni athletes have contributed a lot to the country through the club, and some have reached key positions in the public and private establishments of Yemen. 
Ahli Sanaa is now witnessing a large scale improvement in its sports activities and its cultural events. Currently, Ahli football team is the leader of the football tournament, and the club’s teams are doing well in every sport. 
Haitham Muhsin Al-Ainy, a well-known businessman, is the general secretary of Ahli Sanaa club. Yemen Times filed the following interview with Mr. Haitham about Ahli Sanaa’s ambitions to further enhance their club in various ways. 
Q: Ahli Sanaa is leading the excellent league tournament after the 1st stage. Can it maintain its position? And how can the club management help it do so? 
A: It’s true that our team is leading our closest rival, Shaab Ibb, by six points. However, as every sportsman knows, anything is possible, but I can say that if our team keeps up the same spirit and enthusiasm it has had in the first half, we will be league champions. As far as the management is concerned we are all one team. Under the leadership of Mr. Mohammed A. Al-Qadih, we try to provide the best possible environment for our players to improve their skills and do their jobs. 
Q: Other sports and games suffer of lack of support and encouragement. Is Al-Ahli club trying to support and develop these games? 
A: Its true that games like basketball, volleyball, free style wrestling, swimming etc. been neglected, in spite of the large number of youth interested in these games. We have willing participants, all we need is good trainers and tournaments. If we could satisfy those needs, our other sports could grow quickly. Our team supports many of these games, but this supports remains limited due to our inability to handle all the sports at once. 
Q: Al-Ahli has organized many tournaments in collaboration with private companies. Is Al-Ahli planing to organize any more tournaments to help promote sports? 
A: For the last twenty years we have been organizing tournaments in football, volleyball, table tennis and basketball as well as other competitions, especially during the holy month of Ramadhan. The participants in these tournaments come from clubs, companies and local teams. We try to involve the private sector in order to promote these games and to finance the tournament. Unfortunately, the private sector shows little interest in sports, but at least Mr. Nabil Hail Saeed contributes generously to support sports in Yemen. I hope more businessmen will come forward to promote Yemeni sports. 
Q: As I was coming in I noticed that your logo says the sports, education and social club. What is your role in educational and social activities? 
A: We do give great importance to educational and social activities. We have a very humble library and a educational group, which publishes educational magazines, and I am proud to say that we won second place in the Republic educational activities championship. 
Our social activities are mainly to support all our club members by studying their social conditions to provide them with necessary assistance, and we also have a charity society. 
Q: What do you think about training and encouraging beginners as part of your work? 
A: In sports, to ensure continuous success and remarkable achievements we must attend to youth. We realized this a long time ago, so we give a great importance to the youth, for they are the future of our club. In spite of our efforts, we feel that we still need to do more but our financial limitations stop us.