x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Plenty of well-wishers for Al Wasl's Bruno Metsu

Ahmed Rizvi reports that messages of support are pouring in from players, officials and rival coaches for the Frenchman.

Al Ain fans send a message of support to Al Wasl manager Bruno Metsu during a Pro League match between Dibba Al Fujairah and Al Ain at Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain.
Al Ain fans send a message of support to Al Wasl manager Bruno Metsu during a Pro League match between Dibba Al Fujairah and Al Ain at Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain.

DUBAI // Al Wasl officials are hoping Bruno Metsu, their coach, will make a "speedy recovery" to enable an early return to his job.

Metsu has spent the past week at the American Hospital in Dubai, and Mohammed bin Dukhan and Hassan Talib, the vice-chairman and chief executive of Al Wasl Football Company, visited their ailing coach on Friday and found him in "good spirits".

"The coach is receiving treatment and we have a lot of faith he will be back to lead the team," Bin Dukhan said. "He was in good spirits when we visited him and we conveyed our best wishes to him and a speedy recovery on behalf of the club officials, players and all the fans.

"He decided to stay on here in Dubai for his treatment and he has the full support of the club. As we have said earlier, the club will not think about replacing, except in the case where it is impossible for him to return."

Wasl have refused to comment on the speculations surrounding Metsu's illness and have instead appealed for "respect" of the Frenchman's privacy.

"As far as the club is concerned, Mr Bruno Metsu is in hospital and still undergoing tests," a spokesman said. "The doctors have not confirmed anything until now and until such time they do, Al Wasl have no comments to make. Once again, we urge everyone to respect the privacy of the coach."

There has been an outpouring of support for Metsu since news of his illness first surfaced and one his former employers, the Qatari club Al Gharafa, have offered to fly him to the US in a private jet for further treatment, according to media reports.

Metsu thanked them for the offer, but turned it down as he is happy with his treatment in Dubai.

"He will not be going to France or the US, as some reports suggested," Bin Dukhan said. "He is staying here and has been in regular touch with his assistant [Gilles Morisseau], inquiring about the team and expressing his full faith in the abilities of the players."

Many of the Pro League coaches have also sent their messages of support for Metsu, and Quique Sanchez Flores, the Al Ahli manager, is hoping to visit him in hospital as soon as possible.

"Metsu is one of the best known coaches around this part of the world, one who loves his job and takes a lot of pride in it," Sanchez Flores said. "I wish him well and hope he returns as soon as possible to continue his great career as coach."

Walter Zenga, the Al Nasr coach, has also sent a similar message.

"Metsu is one of the best coaches in this league with a long list of achievements," the Italian said. "When I did not see him on the bench in the match against Al Jazira, I thought he had left the club.

"But then I was really shocked to hear he was in hospital. I will try to get in touch with him to see how he is doing.

"It is horrible that one guy is in trouble with his health. I wish all the best for him and for his family and I pray that he can come back soon."

arizvi@thenational.ae

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