posted on 29/08/2012: 622 views
Al Wasl have announced plans to increase the capacity of the Zabeel Stadium to 25,000 whilst making it the first air-conditioned such venue in the UAE.
While no timeline has been put on the project, Wasl spokesman Tariq Abdullah has confirmed meetings will be held "in the next three days” to discuss the matter in further detail.
The work will see the capacity of the Zabeel Stadium, Wasl's home since 1974, expanded by 7,000 from its current capacity of 18,000, while operations will also include developing the seating area for spectators and the media.
"The new stadium will be air-conditioned and will be able to hold 25,000 fans,” Abdullah told Sport360°. "We still don't know what the design will look like, but there will be a meeting with DSC (Dubai Sports Council) and the Dubai Municipality.
"The will explain everything, what the design will be. We don't have all the details yet, but we will know more at the end of this week.”
The redevelopment of the Zabeel is unlikely to be only sports venue in Dubai to undergo extensive work in the coming years, in accordance to the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Similar projects are also set to be unveiled in the coming months with the aim of making the facilities complement the urban and social development witnessed throughout the emirate in recent years.
Clottey decision soon
Meanwhile, aside from their ambitious plans for their stadium, Wasl are also continuing with their attempts to strengthen their playing squad before the new season.
Having announced the signing of former Al Jazira defender and Australia captain Lucas Neill over the weekend, the club have now set their sights on signing a new striker.
Talks with Ghanaian striker Emmanuel Clottey remain "ongoing” with Abdullah expecting an announcement to be made within the next 48 hours.
The Berekum Chelsea star has emerged as the club's first choice to replace the outing Juan Manual Olivera after cooling their interest in former Middlesbrough striker Afonso Alves.
The Brazilian, 31, is a free agent after leaving Qatari side Al Rayyan at the end of last season and has held talks with Wasl. However, his hopes of a move to the UAE now appear to hinge on whether the Cheetahs can agree a deal for Clottey.
"We are still in negotiations with Emmanuel. He is our No1 choice and we're still talking to his club,” said Abdullah. "Afonso is a standby option.”
Asked if he was confident of tying up a deal for Clottey, Abdullah replied: "Yes, we hope so.”
On Lucas Neill's arrival at the club on a one-year deal, Abdullah added: "Everyone is delighted with Neill's signing. He was a player Metsu identified and the board agreed with that so we are happy to have him.” – Sport 360°
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