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

to ”compete.”

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

to rest.

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

Khalatberi.