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
Anthony Martial: 'It's normal Wayne Rooney doesn't know who I am..and it's up to me to justify €80m price tag'
Manchester City's transfer template offers lesson to neighbours United
Pavement The Forum, London
Arsene Wenger uses Anthony Martial's €80m move to Manchester United to defend Arsenal's transfer inactivity this summer
Louis van Gaal labelled a 'scoundrel' over Javier Hernandez penalty reaction during Manchester United win
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
- 5 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up