x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Al Wasl deny Maradona offered to coach Bahrain

Club maintain manager has not offered his services to Gulf nation's national side.

Al Wasl insists Maradona is happy at the club.
Al Wasl insists Maradona is happy at the club.

DUBAI // Al Wasl have denied reports claiming Diego Maradona had offered to coach the Bahrain national team.

The offer was said to have been made during the Dubai side's visit to the island kingdom for their Gulf Clubs Championship match against Al Riffa.

However, Ahmad Khalifa, the head of the media office at Wasl, said in a statement yesterday: "There was no official statement or comment made by Diego Maradona indicating that he has any interest in coaching the Bahraini national team,"

"As he has stated more than once, Diego Maradona would like to see his contract through with Al Wasl and even more recently he has expressed his interest in staying with Al Wasl for life."

Maradona reiterated his commitment to Wasl in Bahrain as well, saying he had found his "paradise" in Dubai, but one newspaper claimed the Argentine had offered his services to the Bahrain national team.

"Put my name in your options if you are looking for a new coach for the national team," Maradona was quoted as saying by the Al Bilad newspaper.

Maradona, who is in the first year of his two-year contract with Wasl, is also being wooed by the UAE Football Association for the national team post.

According to Al Bilad, Maradona made the statement about coaching Bahrain in a conversation with Sheikh Ali bin Khalifa, the vice president of the Bahrain Football Association.

The newspaper also quoted him as saying: "I think that Bahraini football is generally good. Al Riffa are characterised by excellent passing and have very good elements.

"Through my work with Al Wasl, I can see Gulf football is at a good level but needs more attention."

arizvi@thenational.ae

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