Bahrainis get set for Gulf Cup title-defence | THE DAILY TRIBUNE

TDT | Manama                      

The Daily Tribune –   

Defending champions Bahrain continued yesterday their final preparations for the start of the 25th Gulf Cup.

The tournament kicks off tomorrow in Basra, Iraq, with two matches on schedule in Group A.

The host Iraqis take on Oman while Yemen clash with Saudi Arabia. The Bahrainis are in Group B and they kick off their tournament campaign on Saturday against the UAE.

Kuwait and Qatar face off that same evening.

Matches are to be played at Basra International Stadium and Al Minaa Olympic Stadium.

The nationals continued their training yesterday under the supervision of head coach Helio Sousa.

The session lasted for an hour-and-a-half and it focused on the team’s physical fitness and in-game tactics.

Also yesterday, Bahrain Football Association (BFA) secretary general Rashid Al Zoubi and Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation competitions committee member participated in a meeting of organisers.

They discussed various issues concerning the running of the tournament.

Meanwhile, BFA media centre head and member of the tournament’s media committee Ahmed Mahdi participated in their gathering to discuss the logistical arrangements for the media delegates.

Today, the official pre-tournament coordination meeting will be held in which the administrative and media officers of the participating national teams will be taking part.

Bahrain will be represented by administrator Yahya Buallay and media coordinator Mohammed Abdulghaffar.

During the gathering, the teams’ official kits that will be used in the matches will be presented and approved.

Also today, the coaches of the teams playing tomorrow will hold their pre-game Press conferences.

Bahrain’s Sousa will be on the podium tomorrow amongst the coaches of the squads in action on Saturday.

Bahrain have a 23-member squad in Basra.

The players include Ali Madan (Al Ajman FC, UAE); Abdulla Yusuf (Persija Jakarta, Indonesia); Ali Haram, Hamad Shamsan, Jassim Al Shaikh, Komail Alaswad, Mohammed Jassim Marhoon and Sayed Redha Isa (Riffa); Abdulla Alkhalasi, Abdulwahab Al Malood, Ahmed Al Sherooqi, Amine Hasan, Sayed Mohammed Jaafar and Waleed Al Hayam (Muharraq); Ahmed Bughammar, Mahdi Humaidan, Mohammed Adel and Sayed Dhiya Saeed (Al Khaldiya); Ebrahim Al Khattal and Mahdi Abdullatif (Manama); Ebrahim Lutfallah (Al Ahli); Omar Salem (Budaiya); Hamza Adrees (East Riffa).

Following their opener on Saturday against the UAE, the nationals play Qatar on 10 January and then go against Kuwait on 13 January.

The top two teams at the end of the preliminary round move on to the semi-finals, scheduled for 16 January.

The final will then be held on 19 January.