1989 was a ground-breaking year for the UAE’s national football team: it was the first and only time they qualified for the Fifa World Cup.
It was a moment so cathartic it moved Emirati commentator Adnan Hamad to tears. The team were underdogs, but they had emerged victorious during the Asian Football Confederation’s qualifying matches in Singapore and earned a spot at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
“Anwar Roma,” said the commentator. “I see the lights of Rome.”