x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Al Ain up in arms over punishments

Club feel penalties have been 'a bit harsh' compared to those given to other Pro League sides.

Mirel Radoi has been fined and banned for two matches following as clash with Khalid Jalal.
Mirel Radoi has been fined and banned for two matches following as clash with Khalid Jalal.

Al Ain fear the Football Assocation are emerging as their "12th competitor in the league" following the suspension and fine meted out to one of their foreign signings.

Mirel Radoi, the Romanian striker, has been banned for two matches and ordered to pay a fine of Dh6,000 following a clash with Khalid Jalal, the Al Wahda midfielder, during the 2-2 draw at the Al Nahyan Stadium on Friday night.

Mohammed Obeid Hammad, the first-team supervisor, described the decision as "unfair" and highlighted that the referee, Ali Hamad Albadwawi, took no action at the time despite being in close proximity.

"Maybe the commissioner of the match got affected by what he saw and heard in the [television] studio," Hammad said.

Hammad feels the club are receiving rough treatment from the FA, dating to last season when they were fined and forced to give up two home games because of crowd problems.

In response to the penalty handed out to Radoi, he pointed out that there was no action from the FA after Al Ain's Musallam Fayez received eight stitches to a wound in an Etisalat Cup match with Al Jazira.

"We knew that it didn't happened deliberately and we didn't raise the issue or speak about it, because a footballer is subject to injuries," Hammad said.

He then highlighted other incidents in the match with Wahda, involving Salem Abdullah and Fari Juma.

"[An Al Wahda player] deliberately tried to block Salem Abdullah using his left hand which led to him falling down. Also when [Fernando] Biano deliberately hit Faris Juma off the ball and he did not get the red card," Hammad said. He also cited an incident involving Radoi in the Etisalat Cup match between the same two teams at Al Ahli.

"Watching the [match] shows clearly Radoi getting harmed deliberately [off the ball] by Megrao in the 36th minute and Radoi got the yellow card."

Hammad felt Radoi was making a genuine attempt to win the ball in the early exchanges of last Friday's match when he caught Jalal unintentionally.

"Our player was looking and jumping to the ball and his reaction is very natural while he was shooting the ball," Hammad said. "He didn't see the opponent player who was coming from the back. If we saw any deliberate blocking from Radoi against an Al Wahda player we would have applied the rules and asked the committee to penalise him.

"The annoying issue is that the referee was so close and he took no decision about the case because he realised as we saw when we played the match video back many times that there was not deliberate blocking from the Al Ain player."

The club have submitted an official objection to the FA about the decision but there is thought to be no appeal process.

"We asked the committee to watch the matches again before taking any decision," Hammad said. "According to football regulations the referees decisions are considered final ones."

As an example he said that if a referee failed to give a penalty and it was later proved that a spot kick was justified there was still no way the on-field decision could be changed.

"The discipline committee can't intervene or even any other committee concerning this issue because the only decision should have been taken by the referee," he said. "The committee can intervene only in deliberate blocking cases that was unseen by the referee and his two assistants."

Al Ain feel the punishment is the latest in a series handed out by the FA. In May they were forced to play two matches away from home after their fans "verbally abused" an Al Wasl player on May 20. The club also received a fine for crowd trouble in a home game with Al Nasr.

"Last season we received some penalties from the committee against the fans and the players which [we also did not consider fair]," Hammad said.

"If we compare what is happening with other clubs' fans, we find that the shift of matches penalty applied on Al Ain is a little bit harsh while the team was facing bad conditions at that time, but kept silent, hoping that the discipline committee goes on with any development of the UAE FA and in all of its sectors."

He said the club was concerned that they were being denied the services of important players and there was a feeling the club had an additional opponent on and off the field. "We repeat we don't want to have the 12th opponent in the league represented by the committee," Hammad said.

Hammad also expressed his dismay that news of the ban was already been talked about on BlackBerry Messenger before the club had been informed of the decision.

The FA was unavailable for comment last night.

kaffleck@thenational.ae

* With agency