posted on 18/06/2012: 841 views
Confusion reigned on Sunday as conflicting reports emerged about the future of Al Wasl coach Diego Maradona.
They followed the installation of a new board of directors over the weekend after the previous one resigned en masse on Thursday.
Sky News Arabia reported Maradona would be sacked on Sunday evening.
The report said: "Sources point out that the new board of directors are convinced at the futility of continuing with Diego Maradona in the position of coach.
"This is considering the club's GCC Champions League final defeat in addition to the recurring crisis of Maradona and his poor relations with coaches and officials of other teams.”
But Al Wasl denied Sky's report on their Twitter page, saying: "News concerning the sacking of Diego Maradona as coach of Al Wasl is incorrect.”
When contacted by Gulf News, a source at the club said: "There is no story. Everything continues as normal. Maradona has gone on his summer break and a new board has been formed in the meantime. They have held meetings.
"What's on their agenda at these meetings is unknown. We cannot confirm anything until a statement is released by the new board. We are not expecting any announcements. These meetings are routine.”
Al Wasl finished eighth in the Etisalat Pro League under Maradona in his first season in charge and crashed out of the Etisalat and President's Cups in the semis and quarter-finals respectively.
But perhaps the hardest result to swallow was their GCC Champions League final defeat last weekend to Bahrain's Al Muharraq, where they lost 5-4 on penalties at home despite winning 3-1 away in the first leg.
"All the words of regret are not enough for our fans,” Major General Sheikh Ahmad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Head of Dubai Police and Public Security and President of Al Wasl Club, told Dubai Sports after the changing of the board of directors last Thursday.
"Eighth [in the league] is not suitable. We did not expect this position in our dreams. This team was meant to be capable of a top-four finish.”
Of Maradona, Sheikh Ahmad said: "The new administration will determine the fate of Maradona. It is important the team can stand on its own two feet again.
"The club has been marketed very well under the presence of Maradona, but we do not want marketing without championships. We want to be marketed based on titles and we want to compete well in all tournaments next season.”
Of their Champions League defeat, Sheikh Ahmad added: "We cannot determine the exact culprit, the players are good, and everything was ready, we had 60 per cent secured the GCC Champions League. But we were surprised by what happened.
"The goal of the new administration is to work on repairing the situation within the club to help them compete next season.
"I apologise to the public because the club did not offer them what they deserve. We hope the new administration can restore smiles to the public. "I ask the new board to amend the negative elements within the club and challenge for titles next year.” – Gulf News
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