In Abu Dhabi, Why the Saudi Super Cup is being played

The tenth edition of the Saudi Super Cup will kick off this Monday, as four teams compete for the trophy in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Last year, the Saudi Football Federation changed the tournament format from a single-match event to a knockout competition among four teams. This new format replicates the structure of the Spanish Super Cup, also played in the Kingdom since 2022, which this year saw Real Madrid defeat Barcelona in Riyadh in January.

Who are the participants this year?

The four teams competing in the Saudi Super Cup are the champion and runner-up of the Saudi Pro League, along with the winner and runner-up of the King’s Cup. Therefore, for the 2023 edition, to be played in 2024, the contenders will be Al Ittihad and Al Nassr, qualified through the league, and Al Hilal and Al Wehda, who secured their place through the cup after Jorge Jesus’s team defeated the Mecca-based team 7-6 on penalties in last year’s national final.

When and where will the matches take place?

The two semifinals of the Saudi Super Cup will take place on April 8, while the final will be on April 11. In the first semifinal, Al Ittihad will face Al Wehda at 6:00 PM local time in the Al Nahyan Stadium, while in the second, the current leader of the Saudi Pro League, Al Hilal, will face the second-placed team, Al Nassr, at 8:30 PM in the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.

Why was Abu Dhabi chosen as the venue?

The popularity of Saudi football has transcended the country’s borders this season thanks to the addition of several world-renowned players, although the competition has always had strong support among its Gulf neighbors. Therefore, it makes sense for the first edition of the Saudi Super Cup to be held outside the Kingdom to take place in the United Arab Emirates. Coinciding with the public holiday of Eid al-Fitr, the Saudi Super Cup will provide UAE residents and travelers from across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) the opportunity to witness players such as Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ruben Neves, Karim Benzema, and N’Golo Kante in action.

Published by Emirates Herald, news and information agency.

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