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Al Jazira upset at media speculations on players

Al Jazira upset at media speculations on players

Club may consider action against those spreading false news

By Hisham Al Gizouli (chief Reporter)

Published: Wed 24 Jun 2015, 11:24 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:12 PM

There were speculations that Ali Mabkout was considering to part ways with Al Jazira. — KT file

There were speculations that Ali Mabkout was considering to part ways with Al Jazira. — KT file

Dubai — A senior Al Jazira football official has hit out at the media for fabricating news about their key players’ plans to part ways. The Abu Dhabi-based club has twice denied media speculations that top scorer Ali Mabkhout and international left winger Khamis Ismail were considering to part ways with the club.

“What’s astonishing is to know who was behind these ‘allegations’,” Ahmed Saeed, supervisor of the Al Jazira’s senior football team told Khaleej Times. When pressed to be more specific, Saeed said: “Dubai Sports Channel and the Sharjah Sports Channel were behind the unfounded ‘news’.”

“We have nothing against the social media. Let them do what they like, but when it comes to the official TV channels, we have to tell them to look out,” he said.

At the same time he wondered why media speculated in particular about Mabkhout and Ismail, who have been with the club since their formative years. “The club has denied the news and issued official statement to the effect, but we are still investigating to know the motive behind spreading unfounded news,” he said, adding that the club would then decide on the course of action.

In reply to a question if the club had any plans to sue the concerned media, he said: “I don’t know, but we won’t remain quiet.”

He also noted that the two players named in the media reports as well as all the other team members have received all their dues under their respective contracts and none of them have any complaints.

Explaining Al Jazira’s decline during the recently concluded football season, Saeed reckons that the team’s real problem was in weak defence, including the goalkeepers and defensive midfielder.

“Look, we have suffered setbacks in the defence line. There’s nothing wrong with the individual players. If we will take Khalid Sabeel and Abdulla Mosa, they are the best full backs in the country,” he said. “The same could be said about the Brazilian defensive midfielder Jucilei and the centre back Basheer Saeed, but, as a team, they didn’t click,” he said.

Talking about the team plans, the Al Jazira football team superviser said: “We are considering two solutions. The first approach is to work with the current players through a newly recruited English expert to make things good. The other choice is to wait for Abel Braga to work on this while keeping all our other options open,” he said, but declined to elaborate.

However, Al Jazira have signed the attacking midfielder Thiago Neves at a time, according to the team’s supervisor, the actual needs are for good defenders. “I didn’t say we didn’t need a brilliant playmaker to assist our strikers. Neves is a big player and we are expecting him to form a strong partnership with Mabkhout and other forwards.” Saeed reiterated that the club had individual talent as far as the defence was concerned. 

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