United Arab Emirates' (UAE) boycott of the Gulf Cup of Nations in Qatar is not because of the crisis in the region, an official from the country's Football Association has claimed.
UAE FA President Marwan bin Ghalaita told Reuters that their decision not to participate in the draw for the tournament, which usually features Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Yemen, was not in response to several countries severing diplomatic ties with Qatar.
The biennial event, due to take place from December 22 to January 8, is still set to go ahead despite the issues in the region.
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE cut ties with Qatar after accusing the nation of supporting terrorism, a claim they have denied.
The blockade included withdrawing ambassadors and imposing trade and travel bans.
The UAE were one of three countries to refuse to attend the draw in Qatar last month, along with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
All three were still placed into one of the two groups, however.
Qatar was drawn in Group A alongside Bahrain, Iraq and Yemen, while Group B includes the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman.
Organisers have also resisted calls from the UAE and Bahrain to postpone the tournament amid the diplomatic tension in the Gulf.
Ghalaita also claimed the competition should not take place as Kuwait will not be able to participate due to their suspension from FIFA for Government interference.
"If Kuwait played, this would solve a lot of things," he told Reuters.
The tournament will also serve as a key test of Qatar's preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.