x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Diego Maradona threatens to walk unless demands are met

The Argentine is set to meet the Al Wasl chairman this week and has made it clear he will not be stay unless the club agree to sign more quality players.

Diego Maradona is set to meet his club chairman. Ravindranath K / The National
Diego Maradona is set to meet his club chairman. Ravindranath K / The National

DUBAI // Diego Maradona has made it clear he will not be able to stay on for his second year at Al Wasl unless the club’s management deliver the players he needs to be competitive in the league.

Maradona shocked the world by signing a two-year deal with Wasl last June, but he has been unhappy about the club not delivering on their promise to strengthen the team with more players.

The Argentine legend claims he had asked for six players, but the club provided only two and that, Maradona says, has hurt his team’s chances this season.

Wasl will end the season without a trophy after making an early exit from the President’s Cup and being knocked out of the Etisalat Cup at the semi-final stage. They are sixth in the league at the moment, 18 points behind leaders Al Ain (43).

“I will meet with Mr Marwan [Bin Bayat, the chairman of Al Wasl Football Company] in the coming days and we will decide if we can continue to work together and to see if Wasl can fulfil some of my requirements,” Maradona said. “If we cannot meet as far as our thoughts our concerned, I will leave the city with mutual agreement that satisfies both parties, myself and the club.

“I will definitely come back to Dubai, but maybe as a tourist.”

Maradona made it clear he will not be asking anything for himself from the Wasl management, “not even a single dollar”, but will seek assurances from them about fulfilling their promises on players.

“I will talk to the management, discuss the requirements and see if they can fulfil these promises,” he said. “I am not asking for a raise, a single dollar extra.

“I just want to be able to compete and if I cannot be competitive with my team, then I don’t deserve to be doing this. I cannot compete if I cannot get the players I want.”

“I still have a year on my contract, but I will be very sad if I have to leave because I will feel that I did not get the support I wanted.

“I came here to work, to achieve good results and compete. This is the most important thing to me and it saddens me that I am not able to achieve that.”

arizvi@thenational.ae

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