x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Al Ain coach sees red over yellow

Cosmin Olaroiu livid over rule to carry Pro League cautions into the next season.

Cosmin Olaroiu's plans to give Al Ain fans a fitting finale have been dampened.
Cosmin Olaroiu's plans to give Al Ain fans a fitting finale have been dampened.

Cosmin Olaroiu is furious that he may not be able to field three of his best players when Al Ain are officially crowned as the Pro League champions tonight.

The Romanian coach has found out that the yellow cards his players have picked up this season will be carried forward to next season.

Khaled Abdulrahman, Fawzi Fayez and Helal Saeed have two yellow cards and Olaroiu is not prepared to risk any of that trio picking up a third booking of the season tonight, which would mean they would have to serve a ban at the start of the new campaign.

"This is the first time I come across a rule that states cautions of this season carried forward to the next," Olaroiu said.

"In the case of a red card, yes, it is carried forward. But the yellow cards get cancelled.

"I have to clarify this rule before naming my line-up for this final game of the season. And if that is so, I may be forced to leave out all three players.

"This is ridiculous."

However, it will not hinder the celebration as Al Ain fans are set to fill the 12,000-capacity Tahnoun bin Mohammed stadium for their rescheduled final league game against Ajman.

Mohamed Rashid Al Omda, the head of the Al Ain Fans Society, said elaborate plans have been made to celebrate Al Ain's 10 league titles under the theme of "Our love to Khalifa", (Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi).

"The club management has lined up several surprises for the fans that include giveaways and free gifts, and cash prizes for the best decorated cars," he said.

A victory parade will take place after the game from the stadium towards Al Karis roundabout to Al Jimi and Al Tawia roundabout and back to the stadium.

Al Ain had the league won with three games to play after the 2-0 home victory over Al Jazira more than a month ago.

Olaroiu wants to round off the season with victory and a fitting finale for the fans.

"We will try our best to win this game even though the result will not change anything," he said.

Al Ain have also rewarded some of their players with new contracts ranging from three to five years.

Fares Jumaa, Fawzi Fayez, Salem Abdulla, Musallam Fayez, Abdulla Sultan and Mohamed Salem Al Saadi were given contract extensions while Mohamed Abdul Salam, the 18-year-old, has been promoted to the first team.

"We didn't face any difficulties during the negotiations because they are satisfied to continue their football careers with Al Ain," Mohammed Obaid Hammad, the team manager, said.

"I had many offers from other local clubs but I left the matter for Al Ain management to decide, and they gave me a contract extension. I am glad and I always want to be a proud to be an Al Ain player," said Musallam Fayez, 25.

The Al Wasl versus Al Ahli game has also been brought forward to tonight to give Diego Maradona's side enough time to prepare for their away match against Al Khor of Qatar in the Gulf Club Championship on Tuesday.

apassela@thenational.ae

Tonight's games are on Abu Dhabi Sports & Dubai Sports

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