x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Majed Naser ready to end his retirement to return to Al Wasl

The goalkeeper back tonight after ending his self-imposed exile from playing.

Majed Nasser goalkeeper for Al Wasl during a scrum with Al Ahli. Ashraf Al Amra / Al Ittihad
Majed Nasser goalkeeper for Al Wasl during a scrum with Al Ahli. Ashraf Al Amra / Al Ittihad

DUBAI // Majed Naser is set to end his self-imposed retirement tonight and play for Diego Maradona's Al Wasl for the first time since he was handed a 17-match Football Association ban for slapping the coach of UAE Pro League side Al Ahli.

The goalkeeper has not played for the first team since March 11, when he slapped Quique Sanchez Flores on the back of the head following Wasl's 1-0 defeat in the Etisalat Cup semi-final.

He was later handed a lengthy suspension by the FA's Disciplinary Committee and then announced his retirement from the game. The Wasl management refused to accept his resignation and have insisted he honours his contract, which runs until the end of the 2014 season.

Naser has continued to train with the team and played in a 1-1 draw against Dubai in a reserve game on Saturday. His suspension does not apply to the Gulf championships so he is available for the home match with Al Wahda in the Gulf Clubs' Championship this evening.

Having seen Rashed Ali concede five in a league defeat to Dubai on Friday, Maradona could be tempted to restore Naser to the team with a place in the semi-finals at stake.

The Gulf Clubs' Championship is Wasl's sole chance to end Maradona's first season in charge with silverware. The Argentine is also keen to avenge the 2-0 Pro League defeat to Wahda earlier this month.

"We will seek revenge in the GCC quarter-final," Maradona said after that loss. "We want to win the next match and make up for our mistakes."

arizvi@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE