DUBAI, September 1st / WAM / The curtain will be lifted tomorrow, Friday, for the launch of the activities of the 15th edition of the ADNOC Professional Football League.
Over the past seasons since the application of the professional system in the UAE League, the tournament has achieved many gains at all technical, administrative and marketing levels, and excitement was strongly present in the competition for the title with the rise of the level of many teams and the strengthening of their ranks with the most prominent professional elements.
The first round of the ADNOC Professional League for the new season 2022-2023 will start tomorrow, Friday, after serious preparations from the organizers and participating teams.
The fans are waiting for 266 days of excitement and strong competition, as the competition opens tomorrow, and ends on May 26, 2023.
Al Ain team will start the journey to defend the title of the competition tomorrow in the hospitality of the Ajman team at five and 45 minutes, in one of the 4 matches to be held tomorrow in the competitions of the first round of the competition, while the other three matches will be held on Saturday.
At the same time tomorrow, the Kalba Union will meet with the Al-Bataeh team, the newcomer to the professional league, while Bani Yas will host the Khor Fakkan team and Al-Wahda will be a guest of Al-Wasl at 8:30 pm.
The tour continues on Saturday; Where Al Dhafra meets Al Nasr at five and 45 minutes, and at the same time, Al Jazira hosts the Dibba team, which returns to the professional league, while the round ends at eight thirty in the evening with Al Ahly youth meeting with Sharjah at the top of the first round.
Al Ain holds the record for the number of titles won by any team in the league since the application of the professional system in the 2008-2009 season, where it won the title 5 times, the most recent of which was last season, while Al-Ahly youth and Al-Jazira teams won the title 3 times, compared to one title for each of Al-Wahda And Sharjah, and the competition was not completed in the 2019-2020 edition due to the Corona pandemic.
The new season witnesses the participation of Al Bataeh team, which was founded in 2012, in the professional league for the first time in its history, after 3 years spent in the first division, and Dibba Al Fujairah team returns to participate in the professional league, after the absence of 3 seasons spent in the first division.
The 15th edition of the Professional League holds many elements of excellence and success, in light of intensive preparations made by all teams in the competition before the start of the new season, in pursuit of its ambitions, whether by competing for the title, or at least imposing its strong presence in the competition.
The competition teams prepared for the new season with a number of external camps in 6 European countries (Netherlands, Austria, Serbia, Germany, Slovenia and Turkey), after two previous seasons in which external camps were reduced due to the Corona pandemic.
All the clubs in the competition also offered an active summer transfer period; Where it witnessed the conclusion of many local and foreign deals, with the aim of strengthening the ranks and starting a new season that is not without football fun for the fans of these teams, as well as in preparation for the strong competition expected in this season.
Many of the competition teams supported their technical teams with a selection of top coaches; Whether experienced or wishing to prove their strong presence with their first appearance in the competition.
The Emirates Football Association adopted a set of amendments to the protocol for entering matches, most notably allowing the return of fans to 100% of the capacity of the match stadiums, while emphasizing a set of precautionary measures, standards and conditions to be followed.
This amendment comes, after two seasons, during which the process of entering the stadiums for fans was legalized due to the Corona pandemic; It ranged from holding matches without a public presence, then gradually increasing attendance rates later, reaching full attendance in the new season.
The new version of the competition also witnesses an increase in the number of foreign players allowed to be registered in the lists, as approved by the management of the Professional League, to 5 foreign players in each team, with the amendment of the players registered in the “qualified to represent national teams” category, which previously bore the name of two categories. Residents and country-borns” to 5 players as well.
Also, the League allowed only 8 players from the categories of foreign players and players eligible to represent the teams to be registered in each match, with a maximum of 6 of them participating on the field.
It was decided to reduce the number of players registered in the first team list; To become 30 players of all categories, starting from the current season 2022-2023, to be reduced to 25 players, starting from the 2023-2024 season.
With the full return of the masses, the Professional League seeks to raise the marketing value of the tournaments organized by the Association, including the ADNOC Professional League, in the new version to exceed the marketing boom achieved last season, and exceeded 1.4 billion dirhams for all league championships.