Yemen may decline hosting Khaliji 20 Championship [Archives:2008/1165/Local News]

June 19 2008

By: Almigdad Mojalli
SANA'A, May 18 ) The head of the Football General Union and manager of Khaliji 20 Championship, Ahmed Al-Eysi, warned of the possibility of canceling Yemen's role as the host of the championship, scheduled to be held in Aden by the beginning of 2011. The cancellation comes as a result of the city's lack of adequate infrastructure and capacity to accommodate delegations expected to arrive to Aden for the football championship.

“The obstacle of accommodation and hosting guest delegations hasn't been solved yet, which is a main barrier to holding the championship in Aden,” said Al-Eysi.

He added that construction work for hosting the championship has been deficient, saying that the necessary stadiums and the training playgrounds in both Aden and Abyan governorates haven't been determined yet.

Al-Eysi hinted at the possibility of hosting the championship in Sana'a. He renewed his confirmation that Sana'a would be a better city to host the event, considering its more advanced infrastructure and capacity.

Sports media agent Mansour Al-Jaradi stated that there would be official delegations and media agents coming from the six Gulf countries and Iraq which may exceed 2,800 people.

“During Khaliji 18, held in 2006 in the United Arab Emirates, there were 1,600 sports and media agents and about 70 administrators, in addition to the official delegations from the Gulf countries,” said Al-Jaradi. He added that the Football General Union would need to provide at least 2,500 cars for the delegations, teams and media agents.

Al-Jaradi added that the guest delegations and media agents would also need five-star hotel accomodation, which even Sana'a cannot provide on such a scale.

Al-Eysi pointed to the possibility of enlisting foreign experts in terms of management and some issues that the local expertise lack experience in, affirming that there is no need for Gulf support regarding finances. Al-Jaradi mentioned that it is normal to enlist a foreign company to handle administration and marketing.

Al-Eysi also criticized the performance of the referees during local competitions, saying that “the experience of the referees is low and doesn't meet the [championship's] standards.” He laid the responsibility of poor Yemeni football club performance on referees and coaches.