Doha: The United Arab Emirates Football Association (UAE FA) blamed the AFC Competitions Committee for not shifting their team from AFC U-16 Championship Group E qualifiers, which also has Qatar, Bangladesh and Yemen.
“The AFC Committee received our request several months ago. They also proposed to swap UAE with Iraq from Group D hosted by Nepal, but surprisingly it retracted and put us in the original group,” UAE FA Acting General Secretary Ibrahim Hassan Al Nemer said on their website.
UAE along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt had cut ties with Qatar on June 5.
“Our proposal to shift our team to another group would protect the interests of all parties, but the fairness and neutrality of the committee is questionable,” he added.
Meanwhile, a Qatar Football Association official said on anonymity that Qatar is ready to welcome all the teams.
“We're ready to host all the guests. However, there's no intimation on UAE's participation from AFC. As of today, they'll take part in the competition,” he added.
According to the AFC schedule, the UAE juniors play Bangladesh in the opening game at the Grand Hamad Stadium on Wednesday.
“We were surprised at their decision. We anticipate urgent intervention from the AFC President to resolve the matter and grant us the right to play under appropriate circumstances,” said Al Nemer.