2-match ban unfair: Maradona

Diego Maradona has appealed to His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to intervene after Al Wasl were handed a two-match, home stadium ban.

By Alex Leach

Published: Sun 29 Apr 2012, 12:59 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:47 PM

The Etisalat Pro-League ratified their decision to serve a suspension on the Cheetahs on Thursday afternoon and the Zabeel Stadium club will now play their remaining ‘home’ fixtures for this season, against Al Wahda (6th May, Kick-off: 7.35pm) and Al Ahli (27th May, Kick-off: 7.45pm), at Al Nasr’s Maktoum Stadium.

However, Maradona maintains his club are being harshly treated in comparison to others who commit similar breaches and wants Shaikh Mohammed to step in and resolve this matter.

“I count myself as one of the biggest fans of Al Wasl,” the Cheetahs boss, 51, explained. “The two-match ban is an unfair decision and I really urge the officials to look again, retract this decision and give us something that’s fair.

“I plead to the ruler (Shaikh Mohammed) to try to look into this two-match ban for us and support us because neither the Al Wasl fans, the team or the club have done anything to deserve this. I really hope we can get some support on this decision.”

Ironically, Wasl drew 1-1 with Nasr at Maktoum Stadium on Thursday evening, when Waheed Ismail’s seventh-minute header for the visitors was cancelled out by Leo Lima’s blistering strike with 13 minutes left in the first half.

But, the star of the night according to Maradona was Khalifa Abdulla, who very nearly netted to cap an eye-catching display.

“We’ve discovered a great player and a great prospect, even for the UAE national team, in Khalifa Abdulla,” the Argentinian legend enthused.

“He probably weighs less than a small cup of water, but he’s a great player with great skills and vision, especially in the midfield.

“He came very close to scoring and all of us on the substitutes’ bench were on our tip toes when he was about to score.

“It was great moment for him. Unfortunately, he was unlucky, but this is a player that has great potential and is a prospect for the UAE national team.”


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