ABU DHABI // The fact that Jorge Valdivia’s inappropriate hand gesture went viral on social media and earned him a two-game ban is a lesson for all players, says his manager Javier Aguirre.
The Chile international was also fined Dh15,000 by the Football Association's Disciplinary Committee following the incident during Al Wahda's 1-0 defeat to Al Shabab in the Arabian Gulf League last week.
As a result, Valdivia will miss his two important matches. The first, against Al Jazira in Friday’s derby and their home meeting with the champions Al Ain a week later.
“I know nothing about the social media because I’m not on Facebook and Twitter,” said Aguirre.
“However, I hope Valdi has learnt from this mistake. It is not only him but I hope all the players will learn from it. The social media is a dangerous tool and sometimes matters on and off the pitch can be taken out of context.
“I don’t want to comment on the punishment he received from the FA’s Disciplinary Committee, but I thought it was a bit harsh.
“Anyway, it is good that this happened in the beginning of the season. He came after playing in Chile and Brazil, and there, it is a kind of body language that may be interpreted differently.
“It is like something that can be normal in one country can be offensive in another. That’s why the players have to be careful. I can only tell my players to avoid such controversies in the future.”
Valdivia got in trouble earlier in the season when a Wahda fan asked him to say an inappropriate Arabic word about his former club Al Ain, videoed it and later uploaded it to the internet. Sebastian Tagliabue, Valdivia’s Argentine teammate, came to the midfielder’s defence by saying: “He is new and was misled by his own fans.
“Some people can mislead and make the social media a tool to create controversies.
“I know a bit of this area having played in Saudi Arabia and now in the UAE for the third season. I know where to draw the line.
“As players, we also need to be aware on the impact of such incidents that may lead to needless complications. Sometimes things happen at the heat of the moment, but that’s understandable.”
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