x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Fawzi Bashir upset by lateness of his release from Baniyas

Decision late in pre-season upsets the Omani international.

Fawzi Bashir, left, has been released by Baniyas.
Fawzi Bashir, left, has been released by Baniyas.

ABU DHABI // Fawzi Bashir has criticised the timing of his release from Baniyas, claiming it has given him little chance to find a new club ahead of the new Pro League season.

The Oman international, who had played for the club for the last three seasons, was deemed surplus to requirements by the club's new coach Josef Chovanec ahead of the coming campaign.

The midfielder said he was surprised, not by the decision but the fact that it has come so late in pre-season that it has left him with no options to play elsewhere.

"If the coach wasn't satisfied with my performance he should have spoken to me and also told the management to take a decision earlier, instead of leaving me out in the cold at the last moment," Bashir told Al Ittihad newspaper.

"I have respected my contract with Baniyas even though I had several offers from other clubs, both in the UAE and in the region. I was really hurt when I heard [my contract] was terminated because I was preparing to travel with them for the pre-season camp in Portugal.

"Had they informed me earlier, I could have easily moved out to one of those clubs who were interested on my services. Now all the doors are closed as all clubs have completed their signings. I feel like I have been betrayed."

Baniyas are trying to compensate the player with a pay-out and free transfer. They have offered him Dh350,000 and a release, but the player has demanded Dh1.2 million for the full season.

"I have been left high and dry by the club's failure to notify me early," Bashir said.

"I may not be able to find a club at this time of the season and therefore I cannot accept what they have offered.

"I think that there was ample opportunity for the coach or the club management to inform me of this decision. And I also can't understand why Chovanec came at this conclusion overnight.

"I was surprised when I was told of the termination. And I wouldn't have pressed for compensation had they dealt of this issue earlier and given me enough time to negotiate with other clubs."

The Baniyas management firmly support the decision by Chovanec and are already looking for a replacement.

"The coach has said he wasn't satisfied with Fawzi's level of play as one of the foreign players," Saif Al Khaili, the vice chairman of the club's board of directors, said of the move.

"Fawzi, without doubt, has served us well in the past three years and we had requested the coach to give him more time to prove, but he hasn't impressed him.

We too have realised Fawzi wasn't the player he was in the last three years. His level has dropped considerably. We don't want to interfere with a decision of the technical staff, so he has to leave."

Baniyas have also considered a loan move for Bashir to join Al Dhafra if they are promoted to the Pro League from the four-team play-off that starts next month.


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