Arabian Gulf League and Cup draw for the season 2017/18
The 2017-18 Arabian Gulf League and Cup draw was conducted on Thursday 3rd of August at the UAE FA headquarters in Dubai. The draw was organised by the Pro League Committee and attended by HE Abdulla Naser Al Junaibi, Chairman of the PLC and representatives of the 12 clubs involved in the PLC's competitions for the new season in addition to the PLC work team and various media outlet.
The draw started with showcasing the teams participating in the two competitions, followed by a detailed presentation of the mechanisms and procedures of the draw for each competition, explaining the stages and criteria adopted by the PLC in determining the draw paths.
Sharjah Club and UAE national team former goalkeeper Mohsen Mesabeh and former Al Shabab player Yousif Uzair participated in the draw ceremony.
The draw started with the Arabian Gulf Cup draw, consisting of three stages; Arabian Gulf League reigning champions Al Jazira were placed in group A while Arabian Gulf Cup champions Al Ahli headed group B in the first draw. In the second stage, top six clubs in the 2016/17 Arabian Gulf League except Al Jazira and Al Ahli (Al Wasl, Al Ain, Al Wahda, Al Nasr, Al Dhafra, Sharjah) were drawn equally between the two groups. The third stage included Hatta, Dibba, Emirates and newly promoted Ajman.
The draw produced the following groups; Al Jazira were joined by Al Dhafra, Al Ain, Al Nasr, Hatta and Ajman in group A while Shabab Al Ahli Dubai head group B which also includes Al Wahda, Sharjah, Al Wasl, Emirates and Dibba.
Round 1 of the competition brings Al Jazira an away trip to Al Dhafra while Al Ain host Hatta, Al Nasr face Ajman and Al Wahda welcome Shabab Al Ahli Dubai to Al Nahyan Stadium. Sharjah host Emirates and Hatta visit Al Wasl.
According to the new format of the competition, the Arabian Gulf Cup will take place in a one leg round-robin league with the top four teams in each group progressing to the quarter-final which is played in a two-legged knock-out format. The same format is applied in the semi-final while the final is played in a single match on a neutral ground.
The ceremony continued with the Arabian Gulf League draw which was conducted in two stages; the first included teams ranked 1 to 6 in the 2016-17 Arabian Gulf League table, which were drawn into slots (2, 3, 6, 7, 9 and 11). In the second stage, teams ranked 7th to 12th were drawn into slots (1, 4, 5, 8, 10 and 12).
Champions Al Jazira begin their title defence at home against newly promoted Ajman while Al Wasl face Al Ain at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium. The rebranded Shabab Al Ahli Dubai debut at home against Hatta in the first round. Al Wahda host Dibba while Sharjah welcome Al Nasr and Al Dhafra travel to Ras Al Khaima to face Emirates.
AGC schedule available here
AGL schedule available here.