Al Wasl denounces Al Ain’s actions against Al Wasl fans

Press release
Published November 21st, 2011 - 12:26 GMT

The Media Office of Al Wasl Football Company denounces the actions of Al Ain’s Romanian coach, CosminOlaroiu, at the 6th round of the Etisalat Cup that occurred last Saturday, 19th of November in Al Ain, where the coach and his assistants celebrated in a derogatory and disrespectful manner following a goal that was scored by Al Ain.

The problems arose following Al Ain’s goal, which prompted Cosmin to celebrate in a disparaging way that included gestures directed towards Al Wasl’s Head Coach, Maradona, and his staff. The behaviour is unacceptable and unsportsmanlike, and led to the dismissal of Cosmin for the remainder of the match. Al Wasl personally feels that there is no place for what transpired last Saturday in the game of football, and that Al Ain - as a respectable team - should be above such behaviour.

Things went from bad to worse as the coaches took to the post-match press conferences, where the tension was also evident in Cosmin’s distasteful statements, which attacked Maradona’s personal life.

Maradona showed his animosity for the coach’s behaviour on the pitch, saying, “All that happened was not right and unacceptable in professional football. While the coach is entitled to celebrate the team’s victories, there is a manner and a way of doing so without aggravating the opponent – and that does not reflect what happened last Saturday.  Just last week, in the 5th round of the Etisalat Cup, Al Wasl beat Al Ain 1-0 in Zabeel Stadium, and we did not show any signs of disrespect when we scored. This is not fair play.”

Ahmed Khalifa, Al Wasl Football Company Media Office Manager, commented, “Al Wasl is upset at the inconveniences that were suffered by Maradona and Al Wasl fans from a group of Al Ain fans who surprisingly attacked by throwing stones at them and their cars, and even physically attacking a few. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable, as Al Wasl fans are one of the main pillars of Al Wasl and we will not allow anyone to inflict any harm upon them. We are patiently awaiting the Pro-League Committee’s decision, and are confident that they will take the necessary action against the wrong-doers following the irresponsible acts that Al Wasl fans fell victim to.”

Khalifa added, “During the post-match press conference, Maradona’s comments were restricted to the match and what happened during the ninety minutes only, and as such, Cosmin should have followed suit. The coach should be a role model for the team, fans and spectators in general, most especially stemming from the long history of camaraderie and friendship between Al Wasl and Al Ain.”

“Having Maradona with us here in the UAE has a significant effect on football in the UAE, and his presence had added a much needed boost to the sport in the region. It is clear to everyone that the worldwide exposure is a positive thing, but unfortunately some are trying to benefit using Maradona’s fame and that is unacceptable.”

Khalifa concluded, “Commenting about Maradona’s personal life, past and history, is unacceptable and is irrelevant to any matter that is currently at hand. It is very surprising that a professional coach like Cosmin, who has a lot of experience in the game, would say something like this. We urge that from now on, he stick to what goes on during the match.”

Background Information

Al Wasl Sports Club

Al-Wasl Football Club is a United Arab Emirates Football League club based in Dubai. It is a part of the multi-sports club Al Wasl Sports Club. From next season, former Argentina player and manager Diego Maradona will manage the club, with an annual salary of 3.5 millions of euro plus a private jet at his disposal for two seasons.

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