ABU DHABI, The nations competing in the men's 11-a-side football competition of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 found out which teams they will play after the official draw took place.
The 14 sides were placed into four pools for the group stage during the live Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 show, which was broadcast on Abu Dhabi Sports TV.
Professional footballers Mohamed Khalfan and Tongo Doumbia of Al Ain FC and Subait Khater of Fujairah FC appeared on the show to demonstrate their support for the Games.
Host nation, the UAE, was drawn in Group A and will compete against Spain, South Africa and Jamaica. Group B will see Bangladesh, Serbia and Korea play each other while Group C pits Bharat, Denmark, Kenya and USA against each other. Making up Group D is Oman, Austria and Rwanda.
The teams will begin their road to glory when the group stage begins on 12 March with the final set for 20 March. All matches will be held at Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi.
The UAE team will be aiming to build on its impressive third-place finish at last year's inaugural Unified Football Cup. Held in Chicago, as part of the Special Olympics' 50th Anniversary celebrations, the UAE impressed in the group stages before suffering a penalty shoot-out defeat to Uruguay.
Since making its debut at the World Games in 1986, football is one of the largest sports on the programme, featuring traditional and unified teams across the 11-a-side, 7-a-side and futsal competitions.
Football will be one of 24 officially sanctioned Olympic-style sports on the roster. With more than 7,500 athletes from over 190 nations set to compete between 14-21 March, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will be the largest sports and humanitarian event of the year.
Source: Emirates News Agency