DUBAI // Al Wasl have asked the Football Association to ban their goalkeeper Majed Naser for the entire 2012/13 season for his “disgraceful action” during the second leg of the GCC Clubs Championship final against Al Muharraq of Bahrain on Sunday night.
Naser was sent off in the 10th minute of that game after butting Muharraq’s Ismail Abdul Latif and his early expulsion cost Wasl the match and the title, as the visitors, who lost the first leg 3-1, bounced back to win the match 3-1, taking the game to a penalty shoot-out where they triumphed 5-4.
The Al Wasl Football Company’s Board of Directors held an emergency meeting last evening to discuss the episode and described Naser’s behaviour as “detrimental not just to the reputation of Al Wasl, but the country as a whole”.
An official statement issued by the club after the meeting also branded Naser as a habitual offender, pointing to his “shameful” outburst after the Etisalat Cup semi-final against Al Ahli on March 11. The goalkeeper slapped Ahli coach Quique Sanchez Flores after the 1-0 defeat and spat at their Lebanese defender Mohamed Yousuf.
The Disciplinary Committee of the FA banned Naser for 17 games after that incident, but the Wasl board will now request the FA to suspend him for the entire duration of next season.
The club also intends to stop any payments due to Naser for the 2012/13 season and he will not get any share of the prize money and other rewards accrued from the GCC Clubs Championship campaign.
Wasl will also write to Naser’s employers, asking them to stop his exemption from official duty. The goalkeeper is a policeman, but was exempted from official duty because of an arrangement between his employers and the club.
“The reckless and irresponsible act of the goalkeeper shattered the club’s dream of winning the title,” the statement said. “It had a negative effect on the outcome of the game and turned victory, which looked certain, into defeat.”
The goalkeeper’s action had incensed the home fans on Sunday night and he was forced to sneak out of the stadium through the backdoors under police escort as they waited for him at the main entrance. The incident also attracted widespread condemnation, with Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah, expressing his displeasure through WAM.
"We hope that the management of Al Wasl Club will shoulder their duty of apologising to others,” Sheikh Sultan said. "I, myself, am a big fan of Al Wasl, but I felt very bad when that incident happened.”
The club have also decided to sanction Rashid Essa, who was sent off in the 78th minute of the match for another butt.
The UAE Olympic team player will be fined 50 per cent of his salary for the next two months and will not be given any share of the financial rewards from the GCC Clubs Championship run. The player will also be served with an official warning in writing.
The actions of the board were based on the report and recommendations of the team manager and the legal committee of the club, the statement added.
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