DUBAI // Salem Saad faces an uncertain future at Al Shabab after being banished from the first team following an altercation with teammate Carlos Renato during Tuesday's 2-1 AFC Champions League win over Sepahan. Saad, an integral member of the team who won the league title last season, has been struggling to make the first XI in the Pro League and his frustrations have boiled over on the field.
He also had a heated exchange with his captain Marcos Assuncao during the 1-0 loss to Al Ain in the President's Cup final, and was warned to improve his behaviour. The interim committee of the club will meet on May 16 to discuss Saad's fate, and he could face tough financial penalties and a suspension. The club may also consider offloading the striker next season as they draw up their list of players for the next campaign.
Talking about Saad's suspension, coach Toninho Cerezo said: "The management is seeking to impose discipline in the team and I appreciate their position. We want to create a positive atmosphere within the squad. "Saad is an important player in the team, but there cannot be a compromise on discipline as the success of the club depends on it. "The responsibility of any player is limited to the role he has been given in the team. The performance of the other players should not be his problem; it is the coach's concern."
Meanwhile, Emirates joined Baniyas in next season's Pro League after a 4-1 home win, their eight consecutive victory, over Masafi on Friday night clinched second place in UAE Division One and sparked wild celebrations in Ras Al Khaimah on Friday. Emirates went into the final game of the league holding a one-point advantage over Fujairah who beat 3-1 victory over Al Dhaid counted for little in the end.
"Emirates returned to where they belong," said the club's Tunisian coach Ahmed al Ajlani. "We didn't start well but the second half of the league has been fantastic. We won nine of the last 10 matches and that showed the character of this team." @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org