Maradona threatens to leave Al Wasl after season
Diego Maradona has again threatened to leave Al Wasl after this
season, saying he plans to meet with the club’s chief executive
next week and demand more money to buy players that would allow him
Maradona took the Al Wasl job in May with a two-year contract.
The Argentine great said he has no other offers but felt the club
had broken promises to provide him with a half dozen players of his
choosing. The club hasn’t won any trophies and is likely to miss
out on an Asian Champions League spot for next season.
He said he will meet with management ”in the coming days and
decide if we can continue to work together,” Maradona said. ”I
will look at whether Al Wasl can fulfill some of my requirements.
If they are unable to do so, I will leave the city with mutual
agreement that satisfies both parties and I will definitely come
back to Dubai as a tourist.”
This is not the first time he has threatened to cut short his
contract over a lack of qualify players. He also warned the club he
would quit in February over a restrictive player budget, but a
meeting with chairman Marwan Bin Beyat had seemed to put the issue
But with the team in sixth place in the UAE pro league, Maradona
appeared to have resigned himself to an early departure. He told
reporters how he would be ”sad” to leave Dubai but that he
couldn’t accept remaining with a club that didn’t allow him to
challenge for the title.
Should he quit, Maradona said he might spend his time helping
care for his grandson Benjamin, whose name is tattooed on his right
forearm, rather than take another coaching job.
”I will be ready to leave if I cannot get the players I want,”
he said. ”If I can’t compete, there is no reason to continue. If
the players are too expensive or the club lacks of budget, maybe
then my leaving the club will be easier on them. They will be able
to keep the funds for the players and then invest it in something
else they require.”
Maradona coached Argentina to the 2008 World Cup quarterfinals
in South Africa. He was fired after the World Cup and was linked to
several clubs before accepting the Al Wasl offer.
His surprising hiring by Al Wasl raised hopes the club would
compete for the league title. But that has not happened. As the
club struggled, Maradona has blamed the team’s performance on any
number of issues.
The sports club is chaired by Sheik Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,
a brother of the Dubai ruler. Al Wasl is considered one of the
richest clubs in Dubai but hasn’t won anything since 2007.
It has several foreign players on its squad, including Uruguayan
striker Juan Olivera and Iranian midfielder Mohammed Reza