Defending champions Shabab Al Ahli and reigning league winners Al Jazira have automatically qualified for the quarter-finals, as the preliminary round of the 2021-2022 edition of the 'Pro League Cup' kicks off on October 8, 2021.
The UAE Pro League has approved the dates for the competition with the remaining 12 teams set for six fixtures to decide which sides to advance and join Al Jazira and Shabab Al Ahli in the quarter-finals.
As per the regulations laid out for the competition, all 12 teams will play two-legged fixtures with six sides set to proceed to the knock-out stages along with the league title holders and defending champions.
According to the new system, teams not advancing to the quarterfinals ,will play each other in a league to determine places from 9th to 14th.
Teams failing to qualify for semifinals will also play each other to fill in rankings from 5th to 8th, whereas losing semi finalists will play each other to to determine who finishes third.
Khor Fakkan will take on Al Wahda at the Saqr bin Mohammad Al Qasimi Stadium to kick-off the preliminary rounds of the 'Pro League Cup', on October 8.
Al Wahda’s fixture has been scheduled earlier than others for the team to be given enough time to prepare for their crucial AFC Champions League quarter-finals against Saudi Arabia's Al Nasr, on October 16.
Ittihad Kalba will meet Al Orooba, Al Ain will clash with Emirates Club and Ajman will play neighbours Sharjah in the first round action, on October 15.
The following day will witness Al Dhafra vs Al Nasr, and Bani Yas vs Al Wasl clashes.
Return leg matches of Round One will be held on October 25-26, as decided by the Pro League.
Games to determine the rankings for teams not advancing to the knock-outs will be held on November 12 and 26, December 4 and 9 and January 23, 2022.
Meanwhile, the UAE Pro League has given its nod for the alteration of the dates for three games in the seventh and eighth rounds of the 'ADNOC Pro League'.
The changes have been carried out taking into consideration Al Wahda's qualification for the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League.
Al Wahda's match against Emirates Al Nahyan Stadium has been postponed from October 22 to 23.
Sharjah's eighth round match against Al Orooba has been preponed from October 29 to October 28 at Fujairah Club Stadium.
On the same day, Emirates Club will host Dubai's Al Wasl at 6.15 pm in Ras Al Kahimah.
UAE Pro League has expressed its willingness to adopt a flexible approach to host as many matches as possible over weekends while considering the upcoming international breaks. The ultimate goal is to ensure the UAE national team receives all the support needed as they set their eyes on qualifying to the FIFA World Cup for the second time, while also standing by Al Wahda's side who represent UAE in AfC Champions League.