x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Stick together, Maradona tells Awana's family

Al Wasl coach offers his condolences as support pours in for loved ones of the Baniyas midfielder who passed away in a car accident.

Diego Maradona visits Awana al Musabi, the father of Theyab Awana a football player on the UAE national team who was killed in a car accident in Abu Dhabi.
Diego Maradona visits Awana al Musabi, the father of Theyab Awana a football player on the UAE national team who was killed in a car accident in Abu Dhabi.

Diego Maradona has promised to do all he can to support the family of Theyab Awana, the young footballer who died in a car crash on Sunday night.

The Al Wasl coach, accompanied by club officials, visited the Baniyas midfielder's family on Thursday to pay his respects and offer his condolences.

"Football is about more than just goals and numbers, it's about passion and compassion," Maradona said.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed, the chairman of Al Ain Club, also visited the Awana family at Al Rahba city to offer his condolences.

Sheikh Abdullah expressed his sorrow over the loss of one of the best and most promising footballers in the UAE, asking Allah to grant the deceased's family, friends, lovers, fortitude and patience.

Proceeds from Al Ain's game against Al Jazira will now go to support Al Wasl's idea, in co-operation with the Dubai Charity Association, to build a mosque in the memory of Awana and Saeed Al Noobi, another young footballer killed in a crash.

The 20-year-old Al Dhafra midfielder died in an accident on Muroor Road in Abu Dhabi just two days before the Awana tragedy.

The game is the Etisalat Cup fourth-round tie to be played at Al Shabab on October 7.

Maradona told the Awana family that it was important to stick together in dark times like these, so that through the darkness they could shed some light on the tragedy and go on to compete in his honour as Awana would have wanted.

He promised the family all the support that they would need because whatever happens to one player happens to the entire football and sports industry in the country.

The Argentine also joined the family in prayers before the talk turned to reminiscing over the young player.

The 21 year old was one of the most talented and promising players in the UAE.

His effort was a winning factor in the UAE Under 19 team's 2008 Asian Cup victory and he also helped the Olympic team to win the silver cup in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

He played in the last game for the UAE Olympic team against Australia in the Olympic Asian qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympics in Adelaide, Australia, which ended in a draw.