The Arabian Gulf League was named the top Asian league according to the AFC's Club Competitions Ranking published on the 14th of February. The AGL earned 96.56 points, leading the rankings ahead of second placed Korea's K-League with 89.23 points. Qatar Stars League came third with 78.84 points while Saudi Pro League occupied fourth place spot 72.49 points ahead of Japanese J-League at fifth at 65.79 points.
It was no coincidence for the Arabian Gulf League to reach the top, but rather a result of continuous work based on a sound foundation and a clear vision by all parts of the professional hierarchy since the introduction of the pro league. The Pro League Committee's boards worked through a clear strategy to develop the competition and create a valuable product to become a model to be followed.
AL JUNAIBI: ACHIEVEMENT IS A RESULT OF SHEIKH HAZZA’S INSTRUCTIONS
Abdulla Naser Al Junaibi, Chairman of the PLC believes the league's latest ranking is natural, "Ranking at the top of Asian competitions is a natural result of the instructions of His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of Abu Dhabi's Executive Council and Honorary President of the UAE Football Association", Al Junaibi added, "His Highness' continuous support resulted in the league reaching the summit of the AFC's rankings for the first time in history after the introduction of the pro league in 2008".
Speaking about the future, the chairman said, "Our challenge is now to maintain the top spot, to work harder to win silverware and the results to keep us top of the rankings. This is an invitation for our four clubs at this year's AFC Champions League; Al Ain, Al Ahli, Al Jazira and Al Wahda, to build on the success of Al Ain and Al Ahli in the past two editions of the competition. It is also an invitation for the rest of the league's club to put in all the efforts and establish a clear vision with a similar objective to compete on continental trophies as our means of being the best in Asia. All our clubs have what it takes to be successful and we are confident in their ability to compete and win the Asian competition". Al Junaibi revealed this recent success had been an objective all the way through, "Since the start of the pro league in 2008, our goal was to be amongst the top three leagues in Asia. We always wanted to be the best and the consecutive boards of the committee all worked to develop the league towards this objective." Al Junaibi stressed that this success was only made possible by the joint efforts of the PLC, the clubs, partners, sponsors, media and fans. "The clubs put great efforts to improve the playing levels of their teams by delivering good results for the country in the Asian competitions. The PLC developed the league's organisational and administrative side and worked with the clubs to develop infrastructure and facilities, season after season. Not just to meet the criteria set by the AFC's club licensing regulations, but to exceed them and implement best practices. The league's partners and sponsors continued their support while the media's excellent coverage raised the profile of the league by presenting information, statistics, reports and discussions that brought both domestic and international followers closer to the Arabian Gulf League".