Diego Maradona has complained to everyone, from touchline officials and team management, about everything, from officiating to lack of 'professional' players. What he has not done a lot of, up to now, is win consistently.
Diego Maradona has complained to everyone, from touchline officials and team management, about everything, from officiating to lack of 'professional' players. What he has not done a lot of, up to now,Show more

Al Wasl stand by Diego Maradona, who 'will be given a chance'



DUBAI // Marwan bin Bayat, the Al Wasl chairman, is confident Diego Maradona is the man to turn results around and secure a spot in the Asian Champions League.

Wasl are sixth in the Pro League with 15 points, 12 behind leaders Al Ain, after dropping 13 points in a five-game stretch.

The slide has left fans disappointed and critics have been busy discussing the future of Maradona, whose arrival in the summer was greeted with much hype and expectation.

However, bin Bayat has expressed his confidence in the ability of his players and his coach, and has challenged them to prove their detractors wrong.

"There were high hopes, but unfortunately the results have not been as pleasing as we had hoped," said bin Bayat.

"So there will be steps taken to fix some of the issues that arose.

"The technical staff will evaluate this period, not just the players but look at all the factors, and try to pinpoint where the team went wrong and attempt to fix that."

Wasl have been making headlines around the globe since signing Maradona to a two-year contract in June. Their Twitter following, a modest 37 before the Argentine legend's arrival, has grown to more than 3,300.

The results on the pitch, however, have failed to match that upward climb, but Maradona has vowed to stay on at the Zabeel Stadium and help turn things around, and the club's management is willing to give him time.

"The challenge still remains for this season and we should try to, at least, make up for some of the lack of performance in the first half of the league," bin Bayat said.

"We still have a few matches to go and we hope that the performance level will show a considerable improvement.

"The players have a big responsibility now and they should live up to the responsibility. They should try harder to achieve our common goals.

"Hopefully, we can still achieve a position in the league that will allow Al Wasl to participate on the global stage [in the Asian Champions League next year, for which a top-four finish in the league is required].

"This is one of our objectives for the coming period."

Asked about the likelihood of Maradona keeping his job for next season if the trend of poor results continue, bin Bayat said: "It is too early to answer this question. Maradona has a two-year contract and he is working very hard. I work very closely with him; we meet twice a week to discuss things. Maradona has put in a lot of effort in developing the first team.

"I don't want to blame Maradona or even the players for what has been happening recently. There are several reasons behind it and we have to take corrective action. Maradona will be given a chance. We will not sit and judge him over the next game or two. We will look at what has happened and if mistakes have been made, corrections will be made, not judgements.

"There will be no judgement even at the end of the season; what will happen is an evaluation of the whole season. We have seen this with other coaches, where they were given time to fix things and they turned things around and were able to succeed."

Sheikh Zayed's poem

When it is unveiled at Abu Dhabi Art, the Standing Tall exhibition will appear as an interplay of poetry and art. The 100 scarves are 100 fragments surrounding five, figurative, female sculptures, and both sculptures and scarves are hand-embroidered by a group of refugee women artisans, who used the Palestinian cross-stitch embroidery art of tatreez. Fragments of Sheikh Zayed’s poem Your Love is Ruling My Heart, written in Arabic as a love poem to his nation, are embroidered onto both the sculptures and the scarves. Here is the English translation.

Your love is ruling over my heart

Your love is ruling over my heart, even a mountain can’t bear all of it

Woe for my heart of such a love, if it befell it and made it its home

You came on me like a gleaming sun, you are the cure for my soul of its sickness

Be lenient on me, oh tender one, and have mercy on who because of you is in ruins

You are like the Ajeed Al-reem [leader of the gazelle herd] for my country, the source of all of its knowledge

You waddle even when you stand still, with feet white like the blooming of the dates of the palm

Oh, who wishes to deprive me of sleep, the night has ended and I still have not seen you

You are the cure for my sickness and my support, you dried my throat up let me go and damp it

Help me, oh children of mine, for in his love my life will pass me by. 

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

Company profile

Name: Tharb

Started: December 2016

Founder: Eisa Alsubousi

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: Luxury leather goods

Initial investment: Dh150,000 from personal savings

 


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