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MEF - ABU DHABI, The new-look UAE league season is due to kick-start next Saturday, with the climax set on April 15, this being announced at the end of the official draw that took place on Saturday here in capital Abu Dhabi.

According to the new group-stage version, defending league champions Al-Ain topped group 1, with Al-Nasr, Al-Jazira, Sharjah, Al-Khaleej and Al-Shabab making up the 6-side group.

Group 2 is headed by last season’s runners-up Al-Wahda, with the other competing sides being Al-Sha’ab, Al-Ittihad, Al-Wasl, Al-Emirates and Al-Ahly of Dubai.

Each group is comprising 6 clubs, to be run under a round-robin format, a compressed new-look of league championship this season to pave the way for the national team and Olympic side to better prepare for the new year’s upcoming challenges.

There won’t be a relegation process at the end of the new season’s league action, with the 2004/05 season comprising 14 clubs according to the FA press release.

The ultimate top 2 sides from each group at the end of the round-robin first stage (10 Weeks) will progress to the decisive round-robin stage for the league championship title, where each club play 6 matches at the end of which the champions are to be decided.

Following is the schedule of the 1st Week in the UAE:

1st Week (25/01/2004):
· Al-Nasr – Al-Ain:
· Sharjah – Al-Jazira:
· Al-Khaleej – Al-Shabab:

· Al-Wahda – Al-Sha’ab:
· Al-Ittihad – Al-Wasl:
· Al-Emirates – Al-Ahly:

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