The soccer leagues of the United Arab Emirates and Israel on Monday remotely signed a memorandum of understanding to bolster cooperation, the state-run Emirati agency WAM reported on Tuesday.
Confirming the deal, Israeli soccer league chairman Erez Halfon said he foresaw possible UAE sponsorship for teams in Israel.
"This will take (us) a step forward," he told Army Radio.
Memorandum follows an announcement Sunday that Israel's Maccabi Haifa FC agreed on a cooperation agreement with the UAE's Al-Ain FC and the two teams are expected to meet for a friendly match in Abu Dhabi.
"I am happy to inform you that our club has been invited to hold a friendly soccer match called the 'Game of Peace', in Abu Dhabi," said Maccabi Haifa owner Yaakov Shachar.
"We informed them that we would be happy to play against them in Abu Dhabi and host them in our city, Haifa. Their positive and happy response has just been received and the date for the game will be set later, according to the two clubs' schedules,” Shachar added.
"I have always believed it was possible to develop friendly relations through sports. We will sign a memorandum of understanding between the two clubs In a matter of days to create a relationship that will include collaborations on both the sporting and business side."
Al-Ain is the most decorated team in UAE history and has won the local championship 13 times and the Super Cup five times. In 2018, the team reached the final of the Club World Cup, where it lost to European champions Real Madrid.
The agreement between the two clubs was made possible after the United Arab Emirates, together with Bahrain, normalized relations with Israel in Washington on September 15.
Days after the pact, Israel midfielder Dia Saba signed for UAE league club Al Nasr.