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
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

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot