Diego Maradona clashes with fans, labelling them 'cowards'
Friday 30 March 2012
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.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United transfer news: Adnan Januzaj to be offered in deal for Memphis Depay
Arsenal transfer news: Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini set for showdown summer talks over future
David Beckham reveals secret of his success: I 'stayed in to watch Match of the Day' rather than go out with friends on a Saturday night
Real Madrid vs Juventus preview: Juventus know they must attack to match past European glory
Hull vs Arsenal match report: Hull put up a fight but only after slick Gunners are out of sight
- 2 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: Clegg warns of second election before Christmas without Lib Dems