Diego Maradona clashes with fans, labelling them 'cowards'

 

Diego Maradona was restrained
by security staff as he confronted opposition fans in the stands after
the team's latest match, angry at threats and abuse directed toward
wives and girlfriends of his Al Wasl players.

Maradona called the Al Shabab fans "cowards" on Thursday after they heckled the women, including what the local media said was his girlfriend during his team's 2-0 loss. The scene, posted today on YouTube, showed an angry Maradona jostling with opposition fans and security and then helping escort the women to safety.

The women were eventually led by players and the police from Al Shabab's stadium. The girlfriend of one of the players, Juan Mercier, tripped and fell down the stairs before Mercier himself ran to her aid. Local media reported no one was seriously hurt.

"Some people are cowards. They only attack women and have no courage to confront men," Maradona said according to The Gulf News. "This is the first time I am upset with the fans. If they are angry with me they should know that I did it (climbed the stands) for my (girlfriend) because someone was calling her names. They shouldn't be angry with me. They should be angry with the people who did this. They are cowards, not real fans."

The dispute started when Al Wasl fans started heckling Al Shabab's Brazilian striker Ciel, who set up the first goal and scored the second.

Maradona has been involved in contentious incidents since signing a two-year contract with the United Arab Emirates club in May. He has warned he would quit if the club doesn't increase its budget for players next season, had run-ins with rival coaches and seen his goalkeeper banned for 17 games for slapping an opposition coach.

Meanwhile, Maradona's arrival has yet to lift the club from a disappointing season.

The 1986 World Cup-winning Argentine was expected to elevate the club back to the top. Instead, they sit in fifth place, 15 points behind league leader Al Ain with only a month and a half of the season to go. They have also has been knocked out of several cup competitions and Maradona has conceded Al Wasl has little chance of picking up any silverware this season.

AP

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before