x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Carlos Queiroz denies argument with Diego Maradona

Iran boss refutes spat with the Al Wasl manager over releasing Mohammed Reza Khalatbari ahead of GCC final.

Diego Maradona, the Al Wasl coach, accused the Iran manager, Carlos Queiroz, of not releasing a player.
Diego Maradona, the Al Wasl coach, accused the Iran manager, Carlos Queiroz, of not releasing a player.

Carlos Queiroz has categorically denied having any telephone conversation with Al Wasl coach Diego Maradona regarding the release of Iran international Mohammed Reza Khalatbari ahead of last Sunday's GCC Club Championship second leg final defeat.

Reports last week suggested the Argentine was rebuffed in his attempts to have Khalatbari released from Iran's squad preparing for tonight's Asian World Cup qualifier against Iraq, with quotes attributed to Maradona intimating Queiroz had some choice words for the Wasl coach in the process.

"Following the comments released by the press on behalf of Diego Maradona, head coach of UAE Al Wasl club, it is imperative to clarify that under no circumstances did I have any conversation by phone with Diego Maradona or any representative of his club regarding the release of the referenced player or any other subject," read a statement from the Portuguese yesterday.

"It is absolutely false and unacceptable according to the quote that I used harsh words with Diego, when the phone conversation never happened.

"I cannot believe that the statement released by the press on behalf of Diego Maradona is credible."

Maradona's first season in charge of the Pro League club ended in abject disappointment on Sunday.

Wasl let a 3-1 advantage against Al Muharraq slip from their grasp before losing the resulting penalty shoot-out 5-4 to the Bahrainis.

Their cause was far from helped by the rush of blood of goalkeeper Majed Naser and petulance of midfielder Rashid Essa, who were both sent off in regulation time for butting opposition players.

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