Suspensions to Mirel Radoi and Yousef Ahmad from actions in the Al Ahli game soured Cosmin Olaroiu's mood even though Al Ain had clinched the Pro League title. John McAuley reports.
Suspensions sour Cosmin Olaroiu's celebration over Al Ain's Pro League title
Cosmin Olaroiu was not in a celebratory mood.
Al Ain only minutes before had secured their 11th top-flight championship, and second in the two seasons he has been their coach, but he announced at his post-match conference late Thursday that he was "not happy".
His ire stemmed from the actions of the FA's Disciplinary Committee, who retrospectively suspended the Al Ain players Mirel Radoi and Yousef Ahmad for two games for their actions in a Pro League game at Al Ahli on April 6.
Radoi was cited for blocking Ismail Al Hammadi, and Ahmad for treading on the boot of Majed Naser. Neither incident was deemed a bookable offence by the referee.
Ahli, however, complained, leading to the suspensions. That match eventually was ruled a 3-0 victory for Al Ain, after the game was halted when an Ahli fan threw an object at a linesman, drawing blood.
After a clinching, 3-0 victory over Dubai on Thursday, Olaroiu said: "This is not a happy day for me. It should be but, unfortunately, it's not. I feel very sad, and I can't enjoy the second title because yesterday the decision they take is an abuse against us, is against my players and my work. This is the first time in the history of football they change the decision of the referee.
"I think if you have to win or you have to lose, you have to have dignity. Some people have and some people don't. Always, I will do everything to defend my players, and the players are suspended by this decision.
"We seek the force of Fifa to see if they agree with the decision," he said. "I've already talked with the lawyers and I'll speak to Fifa about the abuse they make against us. That's why I wanted to see the people who are here all the time in the press conference that one month ago I said we expect things will get worse and worse for us. And I was right; now we can agree it was as I said."
He insisted the situation was unprecedented.
"It's the first time I heard in my life a player is suspended at the end of the season. It's the first time the referee makes a decision and they can change it. Now in the next week, after the game, every club should make letters if they think something was a corner, they can go back and issue the corner, if it was a penalty they can issue a penalty. But some people come here to take the money and everything. When they do not win and they find there is no other excuse then they blame us."
He showed reporters tape of Radoi's block on Al Hammadi, which led to a free-kick but not a caution.
"Like Sergio Aguero and David Luiz, when the referee makes a decision, nobody can change that decision, because the referee was there," he said, referring to an incident in a Manchester City-Chelsea FA Cup semi-final this past Sunday. "The ref gives a foul. When the ref makes a decision nobody can change it. Then why have a ref there in the game? In this situation, if they think something is wrong, what can they do?
"The ref makes the mistake. If he gives a foul or a yellow card, it the decision he takes.
"In this situation the player gets suspended for two games, he can't play for two games and does not get his bonus for two games. We cannot use him because the effect is Radoi's image is changed. It's a tactical foul, no more. What should I say to Radoi? 'Radoi, don't touch a player from Ahli because any touch, you will be suspended'?"
The Romanian played video which he said showed the Ahli players Grafite and Basheer Saeed committing fouls far more serious than those for which his players were suspended.
"I'm crazy, I don't understand football," Olaroiu said. "This is too much for me; it's over my capacity to understand. The referee has already taken the decision whether he gives red, yellow or green, that is his decision. But the decision of the ref was changed.
"The tackle from Aguero against David Luiz was 10 times more dangerous, but the [English] federation said: 'No, we cannot because the referee saw the foul and gave the decision'. But here the rules are different and then we reserve our right to complain to Fifa, because Fifa will not accept the referee's decision was changed.
"You cannot suspend [Ahmad], who has a good future. He was in the team, I was going to play him and Asamoah up front, and we took him out. In the end he was crying. For what? There are rules in Fifa and we should respect these rules."
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